2012 Volume E95.D Issue 2 Pages 614-625
We propose a novel scheme to learn a language model (LM) for automatic speech recognition (ASR) directly from continuous speech. In the proposed method, we first generate phoneme lattices using an acoustic model with no linguistic constraints, then perform training over these phoneme lattices, simultaneously learning both lexical units and an LM. As a statistical framework for this learning problem, we use non-parametric Bayesian statistics, which make it possible to balance the learned model's complexity (such as the size of the learned vocabulary) and expressive power, and provide a principled learning algorithm through the use of Gibbs sampling. Implementation is performed using weighted finite state transducers (WFSTs), which allow for the simple handling of lattice input. Experimental results on natural, adult-directed speech demonstrate that LMs built using only continuous speech are able to significantly reduce ASR phoneme error rates. The proposed technique of joint Bayesian learning of lexical units and an LM over lattices is shown to significantly contribute to this improvement.