Automatic Phoneme Recognition with Segmental Hidden Markov Models

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Virginia Tech

A speaker independent continuous speech phoneme recognition and segmentation system is presented. We discuss the training and recognition phases of the phoneme recognition system as well as a detailed description of the integrated elements. The Hidden Markov Model (HMM) based phoneme models are trained using the Baum-Welch re-estimation procedure. Recognition and segmentation of the phonemes in the continuous speech is performed by a Segmental Viterbi Search on a Segmental Ergodic HMM for the phoneme states.

We describe in detail the three phases of the phoneme joint recognition and segmentation system. First, the extraction of the Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) and the corresponding Delta and Delta Log Power coefficients is described. Second, we describe the operation of the Baum-Welch re-estimation procedure for the training of the phoneme HMM models, including the K-Means and the Expectation-Maximization (EM) clustering algorithms used for the initialization of the Baum-Welch algorithm. Additionally, we describe the structural framework of - and the recognition procedure for - the ergodic Segmental HMM for the phoneme segmentation and recognition. We include test and simulation results for each of the individual systems integrated into the phoneme recognition system and finally for the phoneme recognition/segmentation system as a whole.

Viterbi, Baum Welch, Hidden Markov Model, Segmental HMM, Cluster, Speech, Speaker