Acoustic model selection for recognition of regional accented speech

Najafian, Maryam (2016). Acoustic model selection for recognition of regional accented speech. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Accent is cited as an issue for speech recognition systems. Our experiments showed that the ASR word error rate is up to seven times greater for accented speech compared with standard British English. The main objective of this research is to develop Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) techniques that are robust to accent variation. We applied different acoustic modelling techniques to compensate for the effects of regional accents on the ASR performance. For conventional GMM-HMM based ASR systems, we showed that using a small amount of data from a test speaker to choose an accent dependent model using an accent identification system, or building a model using the data from N neighbouring speakers in AID space, will result in superior performance compared to that obtained with unsupervised or supervised speaker adaptation. In addition we showed that using a DNN-HMM rather than a GMM-HMM based acoustic model would improve the recognition accuracy considerably. Even if we apply two stages of accent followed by speaker adaptation to the GMM-HMM baseline system, the GMM-HMM based system will not outperform the baseline DNN-HMM based system. For more contemporary DNN-HMM based ASR systems we investigated how adding different types of accented data to the training set can provide better recognition accuracy on accented speech. Finally, we proposed a new approach for visualisation of the AID feature space. This is helpful in analysing the AID recognition accuracies and analysing AID confusion matrices.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science


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