SPHEAR TMR Network Partners
6.3.1. Experience and competence
Daimler-Benz is one of the largest German companies. It's core business
is automotive production but it has also been involved with information
technology for many years. A growing area of interest is speech and language
technology for applications in very different fields, ranging from voice
operated mobile telephones to speech dialogue systems for call center automation.
Research in the field of speech understanding systems is carried out
at the research centre in Ulm. The relevant topics addressed are man-machine-interfaces,
communication technology, speech and language understanding and image understanding.
The department of speech understanding systems is active in the whole field
of speech and language processing. Work is done in speech coding, special
signal processing of acoustic speech signals like noise compensation, speech
recognition and synthesis, linguistics, dialogue management and speech
and language based knowledge processing. Prototypical application systems
are realized together with the relevant application departments of the
Daimler-Benz concern. An additional important field is research in statistical
signal processing including neural networks and knowledge based systems.
Daimler-Benz has developed the first German speech recognizers called
ADES 1 to 3. These systems were either speaker dependent or speaker independent
isolated word recognizers. One of the first recognizers SPREIN was used
in an IVR system for the European Commissions ECHO information system to
provide telephonic information about projects.
Later on the first speaker adaptive and speaker independent continuous
word recognizers were developed. Another relevant project was the development
of the first German automatic railway information systems, providing all
railway information from the network of the Germand Railway. Further prototyping
systems have been realized for warehouses and other IVR systems. The latest
products developed by Daimler-Benz are voice operation for mobile telephone
and entertainment in the car and telephone speech recognizers for universal
6.3.2 Role in the Project
General robustness of recognition is the main focus of much current research
at Daimler-Benz, who are therefore well-placed to provide the industrial
edge to SPHEAR and lead the application work of theme 4. Before this, Daimler-Benz
will work with other partners, particularly Bochum and Patras, on auditory
processing for its applications.
6.3.3. Research Linkages
Within the SPHEAR programme the closest links will be with Sheffield, IDIAP,
Bochum and Patras.
6.3.4. Principal research personnel, expertise and involvement
Helmut Mangold, Dipl.-Ing., Head of department for speech understanding
systems, lecturer in digital signal processing, expertise in signal processing,
speech recognition, auditory processing, psychoacoustics, speech synthesis,
acoustics, image processing. Involvement 2MM.
Dr. Peter Regel, group leader speech understanding, expertise in phonetics,
speech recognition, speech understanding, dialogue systems, lecturer in
speech recognition. Involvement 5 MM
Dr. Klaus Linhard, lecturer in adaptive signal processing, expertise in
auditory processing, acoustics, digital signal processing, speech recognition,
speech enhancement. Involvement 5 MM
Dr. Tim Haulick, scientist, expertise in speech recognition, speech enhancement,
noise compensation, echo compensation. Involvement 5 MM.
6.3.5. Recent Publications
P. Fetter, U. Haiber, A. Kaltenmeier, and P. Regel-Brietzmann: Using Confidence
Measures to Improve Recognition Accuracy. In Proceedings of European Conference
on Speech Technology (Eurospeech),Rhodos, Greece, 1997.
P. Regel-Brietzmann, U. Ehrlich, G. Hanrieder, P. Heisterkamp, L. Hitzenberger,
and K.Mecklenburg: ACCeSS - Automated Call Center Through Speech Understanding
System. ADescription of an Advanced Application. In Proceedings of European
Conference on Speech Technology (Eurospeech), Rhodos, Greece, 1997.