Gerhard Rigoll, Christoph Neukirchen
This paper presents a new approach to speech recognition with hybrid HMM/ANN technology. While the standard approach to hybrid HMMI ANN systems is based on the use of neural networks as posterior probability estimators, the new approach is based on the use of mutual information neural networks trained with a special learning algorithm in order to maximize the mutual information between the input classes of the network and its resulting sequence of firing output neurons during training. It is shown in this paper that such a neural network is an optimal neural vector quantizer for a discrete hidden Markov model system trained on Maximum Likelihood principles. One of the main advantages of this approach is the fact, that such neural networks can be easily combined with HMM's of any complexity with context-dependent capabilities. It is shown that the resulting hybrid system achieves very high recognition rates, which are now already on the same level as the best conventional HMM systems with continuous parameters, and the capabilities of the mutual information neural networks are not yet entirely exploited.