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The speech group is a sub-group of the Center for Processing Speech and Images (PSI) at the Departement of Electrical Engineering of the KU Leuven, Belgium. Our research focus is on speech recognition and applications thereof. The speech group was founded in 1987 by Prof. Dirk Van Compernolle. Currently, the group has 3 professors, one Post-doctoral researcher and 10 PhD students.

Expertise

Much of the expertise of the ESAT Speech Group is linked directly or indirectly to the large vocabulary speech recognizer. Over the years a wide range of expertise has been gathered in the wider field of speech processing, including:

  • Speech Recognition:
    • ASR Systems
    • ASR Architectures: Example Based Recognition, Mixed bottom-up top-down search
    • Noise Robust Recognition: Missing Data Techniques, Spectral subtraction
    • Pathological Speech
    • Speech Forensics
  • Speech Corpora:
    • automatic segmentation and alignment from rough annotations
  • Speech Enhancement & Coding:
    • Perceptual Audio Coding with TLS
    • Subspace based speech enhancement
    • Broadband Beamforming, Blind Signal Separation
  • Applications:
    • Computer Aided Learning
    • Hearing Aids

The ESAT Speech Recognition System

The ESAT speech group is one of the few labs that has a fully in-house developed state-of-the-art continuous speech, large vocabulary, speaker independent recognition system. The current system is the result of 20 years of research of development in speech recognition at KU Leuven. The first developments in the late 80's targeted a small footprint isolated word recognizer. Later on the focus was on noise robust recognition for in-car applications. Since the mid 90's the development has focused on large vocabulary continuous recognition. Apart from being our major tool for research, several versions of the system have found their way into commercial applications including the Microsoft AutoPC (via Lernout & Hauspie).

A full description of the 2006 system can be found here.

In order to stay in tune both with research and software developments there have regular major rewrites of the software core. In February 2006 the latest rewrite, and largest effort ever, was started in framework of the STEVIN project SPRAAK.

Project INSPIRE

KU Leuven is host of INPIRE project ENR2- An Integrated Model for Human Speech Recognition based on Sparse Representations and Exemplar Matching.

The goal of this project is to improve the noise robustness of the current state-of-the-art automatic speech recognisers motivated from human auditory processing. The people associated with the project are :

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<a href=London public event" />
Join us for a fun event! "Good listeners and smooth talkers: Spoken communica-tion in a challenging world", 7.00pm, Tuesday 20 January, Royal Institution, London
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<a href=The Big Listen!" />
Help researchers develop the next generation of hearing aids by taking "The Big Listen", a 5-minute online listening test developed as part of the INSPIRE project.
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Event calendar

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INSPIRE News

  • We would like to warmly invite you to join our Radboud Summer School course on "Multilingualism in the Wild" Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands http://www.ru.nl/radboudsummerschool/ Dates: 10-14...

  • The INSPIRE workshop "Computational models of cognitive processes" will take place in Leuven, Belgium, from Wednesday 1 July to Saturday 4 July, 2015. Click here for workshop...

  • The INSPIRE winter school "Talker-listener interactions" will take place in London, England, from Tuesday 20 January to Friday 23 January, 2015. Click here for winter school information.

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