Figure of Merit Training for Detection and Spotting

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 6 (NIPS 1993)

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Eric Chang, Richard P. Lippmann


Spotting tasks require detection of target patterns from a background of richly varied non-target inputs. The performance measure of interest for these tasks, called the figure of merit (FOM), is the detection rate for target patterns when the false alarm rate is in an acceptable range. A new approach to training spotters is presented which computes the FOM gradient for each input pattern and then directly maximizes the FOM using b ackpropagati on. This eliminates the need for thresholds during training. It also uses network resources to model Bayesian a posteriori probability functions accurately only for patterns which have a significant effect on the detection accuracy over the false alarm rate of interest. FOM training increased detection accuracy by 5 percentage points for a hybrid radial basis function (RBF) - hidden Markov model (HMM) wordspotter on the credit-card speech corpus.