5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Sydney, Australia
November 30 - December 4, 1998

Acoustic Backing-Off in the Local Distance Computation for Robust Automatic Speech Recognition

Johan de Veth, Bert Cranen, Louis Boves

A2RT, Dept. of Language & Speech, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In this paper we propose to introduce backing-off in the acoustic contributions of the local distance functions used during Viterbi decoding as an operationalisation of missing feature theory for increased recognition robustness. Acoustic backing-off effectively removes the detrimental influence of outlier values from the local decisions in the Viterbi algorithm. It does so without the need for prior knowledge that specific features are missing. Acoustic backing-off avoids any kind of explicit outlier detection. This paper provides a proof of concept of acoustic backing-off in the context of connected digit recognition over the telephone, using artificial distortions of the acoustic observations. It is shown that the word error rate can be maintained at the level of 2.5 % obtained for undisturbed features, even in the case where a conventional local distance computation without backing-off leads to a word error rate > 80.0 %.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Veth, Johan de / Cranen, Bert / Boves, Louis (1998): "Acoustic backing-off in the local distance computation for robust automatic speech recognition", In ICSLP-1998, paper 0360.