ON THE USE OF SUPPORT VECTOR MACHINES FOR PHONETIC CLASSIFICATION
P.R. Clarkson and P.J. Moreno
Support Vector Machines (SVMs) represent a new approach to pattern classification which has recently attracted a great deal of interest in the machine learning community. Their appeal lies in their strong connection to the underlying statistical learning theory, in particular the theory of Structural Risk Minimization. SVMs have been shown to be particularly successful in fields such as image identification and face recognition; in many problems SVM classifiers have been shown to perform much better than other non-linear classifiers such as artificial neural networks and k-nearest neighbors.
This paper explores the issues involved in applying SVMs to phonetic classification as a first step to speech recognition. We present results on several standard vowel and phonetic classification tasks and show better performance than Gaussian mixture classifiers. We also present an analysis of the difficulties we foresee in applying SVMs to continuous speech recognition problems.
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