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CMUSphinx and

Make subdirectory CMUSphinx
Windows install
Mine is d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx
From, download snapshot of pocketsphinx,
sphinxbase, and sphinxtrain to your CMUSphinx directory
I have made window binaries. They are available from the class web page.
If you get binaries, you still need to get the full sphinxtrain file as well (so you will need to download two versions of
First get and decompress complete version
Second, get executables. Put executables in SphinxTrain\bin\Release (you will need to make this dirtectory)
This way the directory+file structure is the same as if you had compiled the files
Put binaries of sphinxbase in CMUSphinx/sphinxbase/bin/Release
Put binaries of pocketsphinx in CMUSphinx/pocketsphinx/bin/Release
To run on android, you need to get the full version of pocketsphinx. But this only compiles on linux. We will do this later
The non windows binaries requires MS Visual Studio 2010 (I used Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate)
If you are a student, you can get it for free from
Or find MSDNAA link at
You will also need an eecis account. You can sign up for one.
The snapshots include .sh visual studio 2010 project files (earlier versions will not work)
Open visual studio. File->open->Preoject/Solution. Navigate to and select .sl file. To build: Build->Build solution
First download and build sphinxbase
Before buildigng, switch to release.
Select Build -> Configuratrion Manager: under Active solutions configuration: Change from Debug to Release
Then pocketsphinx and sphinxtrain
You need perl and python
For perl, get activestates activeperl:
For python get v2.7.X
Once python is installed, add the directory to you path
Add path to sphinxtrain binaries
If downloaded binaries, then add path to where
Running pocketsphnix
Note audio file in CMUSphinx\pocketsphinx\test\data\goforward.raw
Open terminal and
Change directory to d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\pocketsphinx\bin\Release
Pocketsphinx_batch.exe should be there, unless compile failed
Make file ctlFile.txt with text of the name of the file we will decode
Make file called argFile.txt with contents (more about these later)
-hmm ../../model/hmm/en_US/hub4wsj_sc_8k
-lm ../../model/lm/en/turtle.DMP
-dict ../../model/lm/en/turtle.dic
pocketsphinx_batch.exe -argfile argFile.txt -cepdir ../../test/data -ctl ctlFile.txt -cepext .raw -adcin true -hyp out.txt
Note: the command line arguments must be in this order!!
-argfile argFile.txt defines the name of the arguments file. These aurgments are displayed on the screen when the program runs. You
can check if they match
-cepdir ../../test/data defines the path to the files to be processed
-cepdir must come before -ctl
-ctl ctlFile.txt defines the ctlFile, which contains the name of the files to process. These names cannoy have the path or the extension
-cepext .raw defines the extension of the files in the ctlFile
-adcin true means that the files are audio files
-hyp out.txt defines the output file
More details on the parameters are
After running, the outfile contains
go forward ten meters (goforward -26532)
Make and decode a new audio file
Open windows sound recorder
Record go forward ten meters
Save as myGoForward.wma
Saves as .wma file
Get wma to wav converted
Save as c:\pocketsphnix\test\data\myGoForward.wav
I use 4musics multiformat converted. Other converters should work
Change ctlFile.txt to
In terminal run
pocketsphinx_batch.exe -argfile argFile.txt -ctl ctlFile.txt -cepdir ./ -
cepext .wav -adcin true -hyp out2.txt
Check that out2.txt says go forward ten meters
Make your own acoustic model and
We will go over the what is going on later. But
first, lets try the process.
Alternatively, you can read the about what is going on
first and then return to this section
Download data
Get mswav version
Save it to your CMUSphinx directory
Three types of models are used
acoustic model
Used to model the sound of a phone
Typically, this a HMM is used
Each phone has a HMM
Mapping from HMMs to phones
Since the acoustic model is a HMM, in the CMU Sphinx the HMM is
the same as the acoustic model
phonetic dictionary
Maps phones to words
In CMU Sphinx, .dic files are dictionary files
language model
Used to determine sequences of words are allowed. For example, he
super run the sally is not allowed in the language model
Set up config file
From CMUSphinx\SphinxTrain\etc
To CMUSphinx\an4\etc
Sphinc_train.cfg is the main configuration file
Open sphinx_train.cfg in an editor
Line 6: $CFG_DB_NAME = an4;
Line 7: $CFG_BASE_DIR = "d:\\stephans\\CMUSphinx\\an4";
Line 8: $CFG_SPHINXTRAIN_DIR = "d:\\Stephans\\CMUSphinx\\SphinxTrain";
Line 11: $CFG_BIN_DIR = "d:\\Stephans\\CMUSphinx\\sphinxbase\\bin\\Release";
Line 13: $CFG_SCRIPT_DIR = "d:\\Stephans\\CMUSphinx\\SphinxTrain\\scripts";
Check out line 19-21. These say where the wav files are and that we are using mswav, which is
what we downloaded
Line 232: $DEC_CFG_DB_NAME = 'an4';
Line 233: $DEC_CFG_BASE_DIR = 'd:\\Stephans\\CMUSphinx\\an4';
Line 234 does not seem to matter
Line 239: $DEC_CFG_BIN_DIR = "d:\\Stephans\\CMUSphinx\\pocketsphinx\\bin\\Release";
Save sphinx_train.cfg
Other changes
copy sphinxbase.dll from
In CMUSphinx\an4\etc directory, copy or rename to an4.lm.DMP
Open CMUSphinx\SphinxTrain\scripts\ in an editor
Line 3: sphinxpath="d:\\Stephans\\CMUSphinx
In many places is /lib/sphinxtrain. Change this to /SphinxTrain
Copy files
From CMUSphinx\pocketsphinx\bin\Release, copy
pocketspinx_batch.exe and pocketsphinx.dll to
Try skipping this and setting line 243 of .cfg
Open a cmd prompt
Type path and make sure that the directory to
python is there
SphinxTrain\bin\Release is there
Run training
Change to CMUSphinx\an4 directory
python ..\SphinxTrain\scripts\ run
This will take a while (15 minutes)
Results from test is sentence error rate of 45% (nearly
half of the sentences had at least one error) and
15.7% word error rate (15.7% of the words were
incorrectly estimated)
This can fail because python was not installed or
the path to python was not set
Or the path to SphinxTrain
Check log
Open an4.html
Check for errors
MODULE: 30 Training Context Dependent models
A few errors of type: Failed to align audio to trancript: final
state of the search is not reached are acceptable
MODULE: 50 Training Context dependent models
A few errors of type: Failed to align audio to trancript: final
state of the search is not reached are acceptable
At the very end is the test decoding
Open log file
Note parameters for running decoding, specifically,
where Hmm, dic, and lm is
Test with your own voice sample
Record sample
Convert to .wav
Run pocketsphinx_batch
-hmm d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\an4/model_parameters/an4.cd_cont_200
-lw 10 -feat 1s_c_d_dd
-beam 1e-80 -wbeam 1e-40
-dict d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\an4/etc/an4.dic
-lm d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\an4/etc/an4.lm.DMP
-wip 0.2 -ctl d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\an4/myTest/ctlFile.txt
-ctloffset 0
-ctlcount 130
-cepdir d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\an4/myTest -cepext .wav
-hyp d:\Stephans\CMUSphinx\an4/myTest/results.txt
-agc none
-varnorm no
-cmn current
-adcin true
At a first approximation, words are a sequences of sounds, where
each sound is a phone.
However, the exactly pronunciation of a phone depends on the
phones before and after.
Diphones are two phones. Diphones are less impacted by the
phones that come before or after.
Triphones and quinphones are possible. The general name is
While there are many phones, not all combinations of a phone is a
word. Thus, we should not simple recognize phones, by recognize
words as a sequence of phones
Besides phones are fillers (e.g., breath, um). An Utterance is a
sequence of words and fillers
Utterances are separated by a pause
Three types of models are used
acoustic model
Used to model the sound of a phone
Typically, this a HMM is used
Each phone has a HMM
Mapping from HMMs to phones
Since the acoustic model is a HMM, in the CMU Sphinx the HMM is
the same as the acoustic model
phonetic dictionary
Maps phones to words
In CMU Sphinx, .dic files are dictionary files
language model
Used to determine sequences of words are allowed. For example, he
super run the sally is not allowed in the language model
Running with other models
Many acoustic and language models are
available at
Building Your Own Acoustic Model and
Language Model
Building your own models is time consuming
Acoustic models require
Lots of recordings of people saying words and sentences
Not that difficult to do
Accurate transcription of the recording
Time consuming
There are many acoustic models available online
It is possible to take an existing model are quickly adapt it to a particular speaker
Language Model
Different systems need different language models
A voice control for your TV needs to recognize only a few words like volume up, change channel,
A voice driven email composer needs to recognize a different set of words
The performance of the recognizer is improved if your language only considers the relevant
You can take an existing language model and trim it to what you need, or make on from
Many models are available from
To explore acoustic and language models, get the AN4
Save it to your CMUSphinx directory
Also, explore the PDA dataset
This data is from letters and numbers, e.g., A, B,
We can test this system by saying things like A, B,
Acoustic model
The acoustic model is used to translate recorded sounds into
labeled phones,
e.g., recorded sound in file asc.wav is AH
Roughly speaking, acoustic models take the sound sample as
input and the quality of fit as output
asc.wav -> AH-Model-> -12
asc.wav -> AY-Model-> -14

AH-Model gives a better fit of the recorder sound
Making a acoustic model is called training
Inputs to training are audio files and transcriptions
Challenge: Usually the audio file has many phones, not just one
E.g., from AN4 data set, an audio file contains a recording of the
E.g. from PDA data set, an audio file might contain a recording of the
Approach one: the recording from the PDA set is transcribed as: M AA R JH AX N Z SIL HH IX S T AO
Two problems with approach one
If the word margins are in other files, we need to enter the pronounciation of the word twice
There are two ways that people pronounce historically
HH IX S T AO R IX K L IY (this one actually says historicly, which is incorrect)
Two stage transciptions (results in many files)
Transcription file: gives the words spoken
This file contains one line for each file used in training
The line contains the text of the words spoken and the filename (without extension such as .wav)
The AN4 dataset includes the file an4_train_transcription and it includes the line: <s> TWO SIX EIGHT FOUR FOUR ONE EIGHT
</s> (cen7-fash-b)
The PDA dataset includes the file PDAs.train_all.sent and it includes the line: MARGINS HISTORICALLY HAVE PEAKED BY MID
Hmm, this is missing the <s> and </s>, I think that the software requires <s> and </s>.. To use the pda data set, add
<s> and </s>
Dictionary file
A mapping from words to phones (elementary spoken sounds)
Allows words to have multiple pronunciations
E.g., the AN4 dataset includes the file an4.dic and it includes the lines
By combining the transcript file and dictionary file, the sounds in each recorded audio file can be
However, it is a bit tricky to determine which part of the audio file corresponds to which sound.
This is a major challenge facing training
Recall, the overall goal of training is to find models for each sound. But to make the training process easier
for the users, we only provide recordings of words and sentences.
Files needed
your_db_train.fileids - List of files used for training
E.g., AN4 includes an4_train.fileids
path/filename (without extension!)
The path is from where the SphinxTrain program is executed
E.g., an4_train.fileids path is relative to where AN4 /etc directory. So SphinxTrain needs to be run from this
your_db_train.transcription - Transcription for training (described on previous slide)
your_db.dic - Phonetic dictionary (described on previous slide)
your_db.filler - List of fillers and what they map to
Fillers are things like silence, breathing, um etc.
Fillers should also be used in the transcript
Fillers use the + sign before and after
During training, models for fillers will be computed
Decoding is more complicated
Fillers are allowed to be added, but there is some penalty
the fillers are ignored when computing the probability of a sequence of words
E.g., the language model might tell us that go to bed is common, and go up bed is uncommon. If the
decoder detect go um to bed it translates it to go to bed
For some reason, fillers are not used in the an4 and PDA transcript files
<s>, </s>, SIL are silence are included
SMACK is listed in the PDA filler file, but not in the transcript
File format
</s> SIL
<s> SIL
<sil> SIL
++INHALE++ +INHALE+ - Phoneset file

a list of all labels of phones used (sounds), including fillers
E.g., AA, AE, AH,
Every phone label used in the dictionary must be in the .phone file AND the filler labels
Must have sphinxtrain/bin/debug in path
Must copy sphinxbase.dll to sphinxtrain/bin/debug or
set path to
Move pocketsphinix exe and dll
Edit to remove /log and set prefix to path
Must use python 2.7
Delete an4.html before running
This is a log file. Will not exist before the first run. But if
you run and find errors, you can check it. But make sure to
delete it before running so you can see the errors
Change to an4.lm.DMP
Language model
Language models define which combinations of words are allowed.
And, which combinations are more common or less common
Language model defines
How often a word appears
Words: Go, stop, hi, bye
How often combinations of word appear
Combinations with 2 words: Go forward; go back;
Note that the length of these sequences can be 2, 3, ..
The language cannot specify all combinations of any length. So only combinations up to some length (e.g., 2 or 3) are
.ARPA files specify the language with a particular format
See for some details
See next slide
There is an online language maker that takes sentences, counts the combinations of words and
makes a ARPA file
If you make your own arpa file,
you must sort it before using
sphinx_lm_sort < >
Then convert to lm
sphinx_lm_convert I o sorted.lm.DMP
Note that sometimes files that end in .lm are in the arpa format
The DMP can be used to decode

<header - information ignored by applications>

ARPA format
ngram 1=9
ngram 2=11
ngram 3=3
-0.8953 <unk> -0.7373
-0.7404 </s> -0.6515 /data/ specifies how many entries
-0.7861 <s> -0.1764 The numbers are log10 of probabilities
-1.0414 When -0.4754 For the 3-gram entry
-1.0414 will -0.1315 -1.2 go to bed -.1.
-0.9622 the 0.0080 The first number, -0.2 is log10 of the probability that
-1.4393 Stock -0.3100 the last word (bed) occurs given the first two words
have occurred
-1.0414 Go -0.3852 There might be other 3-grams like go to sleep, etc.
-0.9622 Up -0.1286 The second number is the probability that no words
\2-grams: occur after this 3-gram
-0.3626 <s> When -0.1736 For the 2-gram entry
-.2 go to -10.1
-1.2765 <s> the 0.0000 The first number is the log10 of the probability that to
-1.2765 <s> Up 0.0000 occurs after go
-0.2359 When will 0.1011 The second number is the probability that no words
will come after go to
-1.0212 will </s> 0.0000 Not so likely
-0.4191 will the 0.0000 For the 1-gram
-1.1004 the </s> 0.0000 -1.041 go -0.27
-1.1004 the Go 0.0000 The first number is the probability that go occurs
-0.6232 Stock Go 0.0000 Go can occur by itself
-0.2359 Go Up 0.0587 The second number is not the log10 of a probability,
but is log10 of a weight (it could be log10 of a
-0.4983 Up </s> probability, but does not have to be)
-0.4260 <s> When will
-0.6601 When will the
-0.6601 Go Up </s>
Running pocketsphinx on android
I could only get this working on Linux.
Windows might be possible (I didnt try MAC)
The instructions here
pocketsphinx-on-android/ are almost correct
Follow instructions for getting and compiling sphinxbase and pocketsphinx
Get PocketSphinxDemo.tar.gz
Import that to eclipse
File->import->Existing Projects into workspace-(next)-
Select Select archive file
browse and select PocketSphinxDemo.tar.gz
In an editor, open eclipse/workspace/PocketSphinxDemo/jni/
In the second to last line
LOCAL_STATIC_LIBRARIES := sphinxutil sphinxfe sphinxfeat sphinxlm pocketsphinx
LOCAL_STATIC_LIBRARIES := pocketsphinx sphinxlm sphinxfeat sphinxfe sphinxutil
(back to instructions from web page)
Change directory to eclipse/workspace/PocketSphinxDemo/jni
Android/andtroid-ndk-r7b/ndk-build B
Adjust properties->Builders as described on web page
Im not sure how important this is.
Swig makes an interface between java and c++, but these files have already been down loaded.
ndk is run from the command line
On phone
(the directory should be /mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx)
adb shell
mkdir /mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx
cd /mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx
Make directory struction as shown on web page
/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx /hmm/en_US
/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx /hmm/hub4wsj_sc_8k
Not sure if this is needed.
/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx /lm
Cd to CMUSphinx/pocketsphinx/model/hmm/en_US/
Android/android-sdk/platform-tools/adb push ./hub4wsj_sc_8k
Cd to CMUSphinx/pocketsphinx/model/lm
Android/android-sdk/platform-tools/adb push ./en_US
In eclipse
In, change code to include the correct path
This path must match the path where the model files are located
Config c = new Config();
* In 2.2 and above we can use getExternalFilesDir() or whatever it's called
c.setString("-dict", "/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx/lm/en_US/hub4.5000.dic");
c.setString("-lm", "/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx/lm/en_US/hub4.5000.DMP");
c.setString("-rawlogdir", "/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/edu.cmu.pocketsphinx"); // Only use it to
store the audio

Note that these lines are also changed if you use different models
Build, run and test
Windows install
Requires Android NDK
Flex for windows:
Bison for windows:
Get CMUSphinix from here: ??
Note that this contains the
Follow directions from
Or google: pocketSphinx android
But order of libs at the end need to be reversed
Only compiles on linux, because is need yacc
Voice activity detection
VAD is used to detect if anyone is speaking