Graphical models provide a promising paradigm to study both existing and novel techniques for automatic speech recognition. This paper first provides a brief overview of graphical models and their uses as statistical models. It is then shown that the statistical assumptions behind many pattern recognition techniques commonly used as part of a speech recognition system can be described by a graph – this includes Gaussian distributions, mixture models, decision trees, factor analysis, principle component analysis, linear discriminant analysis, and hidden Markov models. Moreover, this paper shows that many advanced models for speech recognition and language processing can also be simply described by a graph, including many at the acoustic-, pronunciation-, and language-modeling levels. A number of speech recognition techniques born directly out of the graphical-models paradigm are also surveyed. Additionally, this paper includes a novel graphical analysis regarding why derivative (or delta) features improve hidden Markov model-based speech recognition by improving structural discriminability. It also includes an example where a graph can be used to represent language model smoothing constraints. As will be seen, the space of models describable by a graph is quite large. A thorough exploration of this space should yield techniques that ultimately will supersede the hidden Markov model.
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Mathematical Foundations of Speech and Language Processing