Summary and Info
The Harpy connected speech recognition system is the result of an attempt to understand the relative importance of various design choices of two earlier speech recognition systems developed at Carnegie-Mellon University: The Hearsay-1 system and the Dragon system. Knowledge is represented in the Hearsay-1 system as procedures and in the Dragon system as a Markov network with a-priori transition probabilities between states. Systematic performance analysis of various design choices of these two systems resulted in the HARPY system, in which knowledge is represented as a finite state transition network but without the a-priori transition probabilities. Harpy searches only a few 'best' syntactic (and acoustic) paths in parallel to determine the optimal path, and uses segmentation to effectively reduce the utterance length, thereby reducing the number of state probability updates that must be done. Several new heuristics have been added to the HARPY system to improve its performance and speed: detection of common sub-nets and collapsing them to reduce overall network size and complexity, eliminating the need for doing an acoustic match for all phonemic types at every time sample, and semi-automatic techniques for learning the lexical representations (that are needed for a steady-state system of this type) and the phonemic templates from training data, thus automatically accounting for the commonly occurring intra-word coarticulation and juncture phenomena. Inter-word phenomena are handled by the use of juncture rules which are applied at network generation time, thereby eliminating the need for repetitive and time consuming application of phonological rules during the recognition phase.
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