Odyssey 2014

The Speaker and Language Recognition Workshop

The NIST 2014 Speaker Recognition i-vector Machine Learning Challenge

Craig Greenberg, Désiré Bansé, George Doddington, Daniel Garcia-Romero, John Godfrey, Tomi Kinnunen, Alvin Martin, Alan McCree, Mark Przybocki and Douglas Reynolds
During late-2013 through mid-2014 NIST coordinated a special machine learning challenge based on the i-vector paradigm widely used by state-of-the-art speaker recognition systems. The i-vector challenge was run entirely online and used as source data fixed-length feature vectors projected into a low-dimensional space (i-vectors) rather than audio recordings. These changes made the challenge more readily accessible, enabled system comparison with consistency in the front-end and in the amount and type of training data, and facilitated exploration of many more approaches than would be possible in a single evaluation as traditionally run by NIST. Compared to the 2012 NIST Speaker Recognition Evaluation, the i-vector challenge saw approximately twice as many participants, and a nearly two orders of magnitude increase in the number of systems submitted for evaluation. Initial results indicate that the leading system achieved a relative improvement of approximately 38% over the baseline system.