Recent Innovations in Speech-to-Text Transcription at SRI-ICSI-UW


Stolcke, A., Chen, B., Franco, H., Gadde, V. R. R., Graciarena, M., Hwang, M. Y., … & Zhu, Q. (2006). Recent innovations in speech-to-text transcription at SRI-ICSI-UW. IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, 14(5), 1729-1744.


We summarize recent progress in automatic speechto-text transcription at SRI, ICSI, and the University of Washington. The work encompasses all components of speech modeling found in a state-of-the-art recognition system, from acoustic features, to acoustic modeling and adaptation, to language modeling. In the front end, we experimented with nonstandard features, including various measures of voicing, discriminative phone posterior features estimated by multilayer perceptrons, and a novel phone-level macro-averaging for cepstral normalization. Acoustic modeling was improved with combinations of front ends operating at multiple frame rates, as well as by modifications to the standard methods for discriminative Gaussian estimation. We show that acoustic adaptation can be improved by predicting the optimal regression class complexity for a given speaker. Language modeling innovations include the use of a syntaxmotivated almost-parsing language model, as well as principled vocabulary-selection techniques. Finally, we address portability issues, such as the use of imperfect training transcripts, and language-specific adjustments required for recognition of Arabic
and Mandarin.

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