Learning Label Embeddings for Nearest-Neighbor Multi-class Classification with an Application to Speech Recognition

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Natasha Singh-miller, Michael Collins


We consider the problem of using nearest neighbor methods to provide a conditional probability estimate, P(y|a), when the number of labels y is large and the labels share some underlying structure. We propose a method for learning error-correcting output codes (ECOCs) to model the similarity between labels within a nearest neighbor framework. The learned ECOCs and nearest neighbor information are used to provide conditional probability estimates. We apply these estimates to the problem of acoustic modeling for speech recognition. We demonstrate an absolute reduction in word error rate (WER) of 0.9% (a 2.5% relative reduction in WER) on a lecture recognition task over a state-of-the-art baseline GMM model.