A Study in Machine Learning from Imbalanced Data for Sentence Boundary Detection in Speech


Liu, Y., Chawla, N. V., Harper, M. P., Shriberg, E., & Stolcke, A. (2006). A study in machine learning from imbalanced data for sentence boundary detection in speech. Computer Speech & Language, 20(4), 468-494.


Enriching speech recognition output with sentence boundaries improves its human readability and enables further processing by downstream language processing modules. We have constructed a hidden Markov model (HMM) system to detect sentence boundaries that uses both prosodic and textual information. Since there are more non-sentence boundaries than sentence boundaries in the data, the prosody model, which is implemented as a decision tree classifier, must be constructed to effectively learn from the imbalanced data distribution. To address this problem, we investigate a variety of sampling approaches and a bagging scheme. A pilot study was carried out to select methods to apply to the full NIST sentence boundary evaluation task across two corpora (conversational telephone speech and broadcast news speech), using both human transcriptions and recognition output. In the pilot study, when classifi cation error rate is the performance measure, using the original training set achieves the best performance among the sampling methods, and an
ensemble of multiple classi fiers from different downsampled training sets achieves slightly poorer performance, but has the potential to reduce computational effort. However, when performance is measured using receiver operating characteristics (ROC) or area under the curve (AUC), then the sampling approaches outperform the original training set. This observation is important if the sentence boundary
detection output is used by downstream language processing modules. Bagging was found to signi ficantly improve system performance for each of the sampling methods. The gain from these methods may be diminished when the prosody model is combined with the language model, which is a strong knowledge source for the sentence detection task. The patterns found in the pilot study were replicated in the full NIST evaluation task. The conclusions may be dependent on the task, the classi ers, and the knowledge combination approach.
: sentence boundary detection, prosody model, sampling, bagging

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