IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing

Multonic Markov Word Models for Large Vocabulary Continuous Speech Recognition

View publication


A new class of hidden Markov models is proposed for the acoustic representation of words in an automatic speech recognition system. The models, built from combinations of acoustically based sub-word units called fenones, are derived automatically from one or more sample utterances of a word. Because they are more flexible than previously reported fenone-based word models, they lead to an improved capability of modeling variations in pronunciation. They are therefore particularly useful in the recognition of continuous speech. In addition, their construction is relatively simple, because it can be done using the well-known forward-backward algorithm for parameter estimation of hidden Markov models. Appropriate reestimation formulas are derived for this purpose. Experimental results obtained on a 5000-word vocabulary natural language continuous speech recognition task are presented to illustrate the enhanced power of discrimination of the new models. © 1993 IEEE