[Elsnet-list] PhD Position in Speech Recognition at KULeuven

Dirk Van Compernolle Dirk.VanCompernolle at esat.kuleuven.be
Wed Sep 29 12:36:53 CEST 2010


At K.U.Leuven - ESAT there is a vacancy for a PhD scholarship on the 
topic of

" Acoustic Modeling for under-resourced languages using feature space 
constraints
applied to the South African language situation "

Project Description

State-of-the-art speech recognition systems contain hundreds of 
thousands of parameters that are trained from example data. It is well 
known that great redundancy exists between these parameters, mainly due 
to the fact that the dimensionality of typical feature vectors is on the 
order of 30-40 while the intrinsic dimension of speech is estimated to 
be on the order of 7-10 only. This inefficiency in representation is one 
of the main reasons why we need such large corpora and why knowledge 
from models in one language can not easily be transferred to other 
languages. While very large corpora are available for major languages, 
this is not the case for smaller languages, making them 
"under-resourced". The objective of this project is to apply novel 
mathematical techniques (e.g. spectral clustering) that can capture 
constraints - not in the feature space - but in the model space, i.e. in 
the underlying HMM parameters, and to apply these techniques for fast 
development of under-resourced languages. Two case studies will be 
handled: i) "Afrikaans", for which data from Dutch and Flemish can be 
reused; ii) languages form the Bantu family as spoken in South Africa 
for which we will bootstrap from a wide set of languages. This project 
will be run in collaboration with Council for Scientific and Industrial 
Research (CSIR), Pretoria, South Africa .

Qualifications

Candidates ideally have a university degree in engineering, computer 
science or applied mathematics.  Skills and experience in any of the 
following areas are welcomed:

    * speech recognition and speech modeling
    * statistical pattern recognition
    * strong background in linear algebra
    * some familiarity with Dutch or Afrikaans is a help, though not
      strictly required
    * computing skills ( MATLAB, C, UNIX, Python )

Terms

The project starts early November 2010.  Funds are available for a 4 yr. 
PhD scholarship which should start as soon as possible after the project 
starting date.
Interested applicants send their CV to Prof. Dirk Van Compernolle 
[compi at esat.kuleuven.be <mailto:.%28compi at esat.kuleuven.be>]
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