Applying Vocal Tract Length Normalization to Meeting Recordings
Vocal Tract Length Normalisation (VTLN) is a commonly used technique to normalise for inter-speaker variability. It is based on the speaker-specific warping of the frequency axis, parameterised by a scalar warp factor. This factor is typically estimated using maximum likelihood. We discuss how VTLN may be applied to multiparty conversations, reporting a substantial decrease in word error rate in experiments using the ICSI meetings corpus. We investigate the behaviour of the VTLN warping factor and show that a stable estimate is not obtained. Instead it appears to be influenced by the context of the meeting, in particular the current conversational partner. These results are consistent with predictions made by the psycholinguistic interactive alignment account of dialogue, when applied at the acoustic and phonological levels.