Improving automatic speaker verification using SVM techniques

McLaren, Mitchell Leigh (2009) Improving automatic speaker verification using SVM techniques. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Automatic recognition of people is an active field of research with important forensic and security applications. In these applications, it is not always possible for the subject to be in close proximity to the system. Voice represents a human behavioural trait which can be used to recognise people in such situations. Automatic Speaker Verification (ASV) is the process of verifying a persons identity through the analysis of their speech and enables recognition of a subject at a distance over a telephone channel { wired or wireless. A significant amount of research has focussed on the application of Gaussian mixture model (GMM) techniques to speaker verification systems providing state-of-the-art performance. GMM's are a type of generative classifier trained to model the probability distribution of the features used to represent a speaker. Recently introduced to the field of ASV research is the support vector machine (SVM). An SVM is a discriminative classifier requiring examples from both positive and negative classes to train a speaker model. The SVM is based on margin maximisation whereby a hyperplane attempts to separate classes in a high dimensional space. SVMs applied to the task of speaker verification have shown high potential, particularly when used to complement current GMM-based techniques in hybrid systems. This work aims to improve the performance of ASV systems using novel and innovative SVM-based techniques. Research was divided into three main themes: session variability compensation for SVMs; unsupervised model adaptation; and impostor dataset selection. The first theme investigated the differences between the GMM and SVM domains for the modelling of session variability | an aspect crucial for robust speaker verification. Techniques developed to improve the robustness of GMMbased classification were shown to bring about similar benefits to discriminative SVM classification through their integration in the hybrid GMM mean supervector SVM classifier. Further, the domains for the modelling of session variation were contrasted to find a number of common factors, however, the SVM-domain consistently provided marginally better session variation compensation. Minimal complementary information was found between the techniques due to the similarities in how they achieved their objectives. The second theme saw the proposal of a novel model for the purpose of session variation compensation in ASV systems. Continuous progressive model adaptation attempts to improve speaker models by retraining them after exploiting all encountered test utterances during normal use of the system. The introduction of the weight-based factor analysis model provided significant performance improvements of over 60% in an unsupervised scenario. SVM-based classification was then integrated into the progressive system providing further benefits in performance over the GMM counterpart. Analysis demonstrated that SVMs also hold several beneficial characteristics to the task of unsupervised model adaptation prompting further research in the area. In pursuing the final theme, an innovative background dataset selection technique was developed. This technique selects the most appropriate subset of examples from a large and diverse set of candidate impostor observations for use as the SVM background by exploiting the SVM training process. This selection was performed on a per-observation basis so as to overcome the shortcoming of the traditional heuristic-based approach to dataset selection. Results demonstrate the approach to provide performance improvements over both the use of the complete candidate dataset and the best heuristically-selected dataset whilst being only a fraction of the size. The refined dataset was also shown to generalise well to unseen corpora and be highly applicable to the selection of impostor cohorts required in alternate techniques for speaker verification.

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ID Code: 32063
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Sridharan, Subramanian, Baker, Brendan, Mason, Michael, & Vogt, Robert
Keywords: speaker recognition, speaker verification, support vector machines, Gaussian mixture models, session variation, unsupervised adaptation, data selection
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2010 01:10
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2012 02:26

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