8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Jeju Island, Korea
October 4-8, 2004

Discriminative Training with Tied Covariance Matrices

Wolfgang Macherey, Ralf Schlüter, Hermann Ney

RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Discriminative training techniques have proved to be a powerful method for improving large vocabulary speech recognition systems based on Gaussian mixture hidden Markov models. Typically, the optimization of discriminative objective functions is done using the extended Baum algorithm. Since for continuous distributions no proof of fast and stable convergence is known up to now, parameter re-estimation depends on setting the iteration constants in the update rules heuristically, ensuring that the new variances are positive definite. In case of density specific variances this leads to a system of quadratic inequalities. However, if tied variances are used, the inequalities become more complicated and often the resulting constants are too large to be appropriate for discriminative training. In this paper we present an alternative approach to setting the iteration constants to alleviate this problem. First experimental results show that the new method leads to improved convergence speed and test set performance.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Macherey, Wolfgang / Schlüter, Ralf / Ney, Hermann (2004): "Discriminative training with tied covariance matrices", In INTERSPEECH-2004, 705-708.