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Accurate acoustic modeling is an essential requirement of a state-of-the-art continuous speech recognizer. The Acoustic Model (AM) describes the relation between the observed speech signal and the non-observable sequence of phonetic units uttered by the speaker. Nowadays, most recognizers use Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) in combination with Gaussian Mixture Models (GMMs) to model the acoustics, but neural-based architectures are on the rise again. In this work, the recently introduced Reservoir Computing (RC) paradigm is used for acoustic modeling. A reservoir is a fixed - and thus non-trained - Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) that is combined with a trained linear model. This approach combines the ability of an RNN to model the recent past of the input sequence with a simple and reliable training procedure. It is shown here that simple reservoir-based AMs achieve reasonable phone recognition and that deep hierarchical and bi-directional reservoir architectures lead to a very competitive Phone Error Rate (PER) of 23.1% on the well-known TIMIT task.
Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 11 )
Date of Publication: Nov. 2013