[Elsnet-list] PhD Position in Speech Recognition for under-resourced languages (K.U.Leuven, Belgium)
Dirk Van Compernolle (ESAT)
compi at telenet.be
Sat Apr 16 11:38:45 CEST 2011
*Speech Recognition for Under-resourced Languages
K.U.Leuven - ESAT, Belgium
Today's speech recognition systems require hundreds of hours of example
data for training the acoustic models. While such large corpora are
available for the major languages, this is not the case for smaller
languages, making them "under-resourced". One of the underlying reasons
for this data hungriness is that the dimensionality of feature vectors
used in state-of-the-art speech recognition systems (typically in the
range 30-40) is much larger than the intrinsic dimensionality of speech
which is estimated to be 7-10 only. Efforts to make the intrinsic
dimensionality smaller have been largely futile as the constraints are
too complex for our by and large linear techniques. This inefficiency in
basic representation, combined with other inefficiencies in mainstream
context-dependent modeling makes that the hundreds of thousands
parameters that constitute an acoustic model are largely redundant.
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. Such constraints will lead to lesser requirements on the
size of the training databases and should increase robustness in all
situations where we don't have large corpora available, such as speaker
adaptation, accent adaptation or modeling of under-resourced languages.
Apart from general principles, two test cases will be be studied in
more detail : 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 can only bootstrap from a wide set of rather unrelated
Candidates ideally have a university degree in engineering, computer
science or applied mathematics. Skills and experience in any of the
following areas are welcomed:
* strong mathematical background (linear algebra and/or statistical
* speech recognition and speech modeling
* some familiarity with Dutch or Afrikaans
* computational skills (MATLAB, C, UNIX, Python)
Within this project there is funding for a 4yr Ph.D. scholarship.
Alternatively we will also accept applications for a 2 yr junior
post-doc with significant relevant experience.
This research will be carried out the K.U.Leuven, Belgium in the context
of the AMODA project in collaboration with Council for Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR), Pretoria, South Africa.
Interested candidates should contact Prof. Dirk Van Compernolle "compi
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