Skip to Main Content
This paper presents a method for effectively using unlabeled sequential data in the learning of hidden Markov models (HMMs). With the conventional approach, class labels for unlabeled data are assigned deterministically by HMMs learned from labeled data. Such labeling often becomes unreliable when the number of labeled data is small. We propose an extended Baum-Welch (EBW) algorithm in which the labeling is undertaken probabilistically and iteratively so that the labeled and unlabeled data likelihoods are improved. Unlike the conventional approach, the EBW algorithm guarantees convergence to a local maximum of the likelihood. Experimental results on gesture data and speech data show that when labeled training data are scarce, by using unlabeled data, the EBW algorithm improves the classification performance of HMMs more robustly than the conventional naive labeling (NL) approach.