Analyzing and Improving Statistical Language Models for Speech Recognition
9406027 | cmp-lg
In many current speech recognizers, a statistical language model is used to indicate how likely it is that a certain word will be spoken next, given the words recognized so far. How can statistical language models be improved so that more complex speech recognition tasks can be tackled? Since the knowledge of the weaknesses of any theory often makes improving the theory easier, the central idea of this thesis is to analyze the weaknesses of existing statistical language models in order to subsequently improve them. To that end, we formally define a weakness of a statistical language model in terms of the logarithm of the total probability, LTP, a term closely related to the standard perplexity measure used to evaluate statistical language models. We apply our definition of a weakness to a frequently used statistical language model, called a bi-pos model. This results, for example, in a new modeling of unknown words which improves the performance of the model by 14% to 21%. Moreover, one of the identified weaknesses has prompted the development of our generalized N-pos language model, which is also outlined in this thesis. It can incorporate linguistic knowledge even if it extends over many words and this is not feasible in a traditional N-pos model. This leads to a discussion of whatknowledge should be added to statistical language models in general and we give criteria for selecting potentially useful knowledge. These results show the usefulness of both our definition of a weakness and of performing an analysis of weaknesses of statistical language models in general.