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Random Forests of Phonetic Decision Trees for Acoustic Modeling in Conversational Speech Recognition

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2 Author(s)
Jian Xue ; IBM, Yorktown Heights ; Yunxin Zhao

In this paper, we present a novel technique of constructing phonetic decision trees (PDTs) for acoustic modeling in conversational speech recognition. We use random forests (RFs) to train a set of PDTs for each phone state unit and obtain multiple acoustic models accordingly. We investigate several methods of combining acoustic scores from the multiple models, including maximum-likelihood estimation of the weights of different acoustic models from training data, as well as using confidence score of -value or relative entropy to obtain the weights dynamically from online data. Since computing acoustic scores from the multiple models slows down decoding search, we propose clustering methods to compact the RF-generated acoustic models. The conventional concept of PDT-based state tying is extended to RF-based state tying. On each RF tied state, we cluster the Gaussian density functions (GDFs) from multiple acoustic models into classes and compute a prototype for each class to represent the original GDFs. In this way, the number of GDFs in each RF tied state is decreased greatly, which significantly reduces the time for computing acoustic scores. Experimental results on a telemedicine automatic captioning task demonstrate that the proposed RF-PDT technique leads to significant improvements in word recognition accuracy.

Published in:

Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )