ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings

Structurally discriminative graphical models for automatic speech recognition - Results from the 2001 Johns Hopkins Summer Workshop

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In recent years there has been growing interest in discriminative parameter training techniques, resulting from notable improvements in speech recognition performance on tasks ranging in size from digit recognition to Switchboard. Typified of Maximum Mutual Information training, these methods assume a fixed statistical modeling structure, and then optimize only the associated numerical parameters (such as means, variances, and transition matrices). In this paper, we explore the significantly different methodology of discriminative structure learning. Here, the fundamental dependency relationships between random variables in a probabilistic model are learned in a discriminative fashion, and are learned separately from the numerical parameters. In order to apply the principles of structural discriminability, we adopt the framework of graphical models, which allows an arbitrary set of variables with arbitrary conditional independence relationships to be modeled at each time frame. We present results using a new graphical modeling toolkit (described in a companion paper) from the recent 2001 Johns Hopkins Summer Workshop. There results indicate that significant gains result from discriminative structural analysis of both conventional MFCC and novel AM-FM features on the Aurora continuous digits task.