MNIST Handwritten Digit Dataset

Contributors: Introduced by LeCun et al.
Datarows: 70,000

The MNIST database (Modified National Institute of Standards and Technology database) is a large collection of handwritten digits. It has a training set of 60,000 examples, and a test set of 10,000 examples. It is a subset of a larger NIST Special Database 3 (digits written by employees of the United States Census Bureau) and Special Database 1 (digits written by high school students) which contain monochrome images of handwritten digits.

The digits have been size-normalized and centered in a fixed-size image. The original black and white (bilevel) images from NIST were size normalized to fit in a 20x20 pixel box while preserving their aspect ratio. The resulting images contain grey levels as a result of the anti-aliasing technique used by the normalization algorithm. the images were centered in a 28x28 image by computing the center of mass of the pixels, and translating the image so as to position this point at the center of the 28x28 field. Learn more about this dataset here.

Related article: Gradient-based learning applied to document recognition (LeCun et al.)

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