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Robust Feature Extraction for Continuous Speech Recognition Using the MVDR Spectrum Estimation Method

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3 Author(s)
Dharanipragada, S. ; Citadel Investment Group, Chicago, IL ; Yapanel, U.H. ; Rao, B.D.

This paper describes a robust feature extraction technique for continuous speech recognition. Central to the technique is the minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) method of spectrum estimation. We consider incorporating perceptual information in two ways: 1) after the MVDR power spectrum is computed and 2) directly during the MVDR spectrum estimation. We show that incorporating perceptual information directly into the spectrum estimation improves both robustness and computational efficiency significantly. We analyze the class separability and speaker variability properties of the features using a Fisher linear discriminant measure and show that these features provide better class separability and better suppression of speaker-dependent information than the widely used mel frequency cepstral coefficient (MFCC) features. We evaluate the technique on four different tasks: an in-car speech recognition task, the Aurora-2 matched task, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) task, and the Switchboard task. The new feature extraction technique gives lower word-error-rates than the MFCC and perceptual linear prediction (PLP) feature extraction techniques in most cases. Statistical significance tests reveal that the improvement is most significant in high noise conditions. The technique thus provides improved robustness to noise without sacrificing performance in clean conditions

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Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 1 )