Fred Richardson, William Campbell
Many tasks in speech processing involve classification of long term characteristics of a speech segment such as language, speaker, dialect, or topic. A natural technique for determining these characteristics is to first convert the input speech into a sequence of tokens such as words, phones, etc. From these tokens, we can then look for distinctive phrases, keywords, that characterize the speech. In many applications, a set of distinctive keywords may not be known a priori. In this case, an automatic method of building up keywords from short context units such as phones is desirable. We propose a method for construction of keywords based upon Support Vector Machines. We cast the problem of keyword selection as a feature selection problem for n-grams of phones. We propose an alternating filter-wrapper method that builds successively longer keywords. Application of this method on a language recognition task shows that the technique produces interesting and significant qualitative and quantitative results.