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Horacio Franco

Program Director

Contact Information

Horacio Franco
Speech Technology & Research Laboratory
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025 (USA)
Tel: (650) 859-3284
Fax: (650) 859-5984
Email:

Research Interests

Speech Recognition
Speech Processing
Speech Technology for Language Learning
Connectionist Models for Speech Recognition

Education

Doctor in Engineering
School of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996.
Electrical Engineer
School of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1978.

Projects

Language Instruction
Spoken Language Translation

Selected Previous Projects

Hybrid Neural Network/Hidden Markov Model Speech Recognition
Spoken Language Systems

Publications, Reports, Patents, etc.

H. Franco, V. Abrash, K. Precoda, H. Bratt, R. Rao, and J. Butzberger (2000), The SRI EduSpeak(TM) System: Recognition and Pronunciation Scoring for Language Learning Proceedings of InSTIL 2000 (Integrating Speech Technology in (Language) Learning), Dundee, Scotland.

A. Stolcke, H. Bratt, J. Butzberger, H. Franco, V. R. Rao Gadde, M. Plauche, C. Richey, E. Shriberg, K. Sonmez, F. Weng, J. Zheng (2000), The SRI March 2000 Hub-5 Conversational Speech Transcription System. Proc. NIST Speech Transcription Workshop, College Park, MD. (HTML, PDF)

C. Teixeira, H. Franco, E. Shriberg, K. Precoda (2000) Prosodic Features for Automatic Text-Independent Evaluation of Degree of Nonnativeness for Language Learners ICSLP 2000 , Beijing, China.

J. Zheng, H. Franco, and A. Stolcke (2000) Rate-of-Speech Modeling for Large Vocabulary Conversational Speech Recognition Proceedings of the ISCA ITRW ASR2000, pp. 145-149, Paris, France.

K. Precoda, C. Halverson, and H. Franco (2000) Effect of Speech Recognition-Based Pronunciation Feedback on Second-Language Pronunciation Ability Proceedings of InSTIL 2000 (Integrating Speech Technology in (Language) Learning), Dundee, Scotland.

J. Zheng, H. Franco, F. Weng, A. Sankar, and H. Bratt (2000) Word-Level Rate of Speech Modeling Using Rate-Specific Phones and Pronunciations , Proceedings of the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, pp. 1775-1778, Istanbul, Turkey.

L. Neumeyer, H. Franco, V. Digalakis, and M. Weintraub (2000) Automatic Scoring of Pronunciation Quality Speech Communication, 30:83-93.

H. Franco, L. Neumeyer, V. Digalakis, and O. Ronen (2000) Combination of Machine Scores for Automatic Grading of Pronunciation Quality Speech Communication, 30:121-130.

H. Franco, L. Neumeyer, M. Ramos, and H. Bratt (1999) Automatic Detection of Phone-Level Mispronunciation for Language Learning To be published in Proc. of Eurospeech 99, Budapest, Hungary. Abstract here.

H. Bratt, L. Neumeyer, E. Shriberg, and H. Franco (1998) Collection and Detailed Transcription of a Speech Database for Development of Language Learning Technologies Proc. Intl. Conf. on Spoken Language Processing, Sydney, Australia.

H. Franco and L. Neumeyer (1998) Calibration of Machine Scores For Pronunciation Grading Proc. Intl. Conf. on Spoken Language Processing, Sydney, Australia.

L. Neumeyer, H.Franco, V. Abrash, L. Julia, O. Ronen, H. Bratt, J. Bing, V. Digalakis, and Marikka Rypa (1998) WebGrader(TM): A Multilingual Pronunciation Practice Tool Proc. Speech Technology in Language Learning Workshop, Stockholm, Sweden.

H. Franco, L. Neumeyer, and Harry Bratt (1998) Modeling Intra-Word Pauses in Pronunciation Scoring. Proc. Speech Technology for Language Learning Workshop(STiLL), Stockholm.

H. Sedarat, R. Khadem, H. Franco (1998), Simplified Neural Network Architectures in a Hybrid system for Isolated Speech Recognition, Submitted to the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Seattle, WA.

O. Ronen, L. Neumeyer, and H. Franco (1997) Automatic Detection of Mispronunciation for Language Instruction. Proc. Eurospeech, pp. 649-652, Vol. 2, Rhodes, Greece.

Y. Kim, H. Franco, and L. Neumeyer (1997) Automatic Pronunciation Scoring of Specific Phone Segments for Language Instruction., pp. 645-648, Vol. 2, Rhodes, Greece.

H. Franco, L. Neumeyer, Y. Kim, and O. Ronen (1997) Automatic Pronunciation Scoring for Language Instruction. Proc. International Conference on Acoustics, speech, and Signal Processing, pp. 1471-1474, Vol. 2, Munich, Germany.

J. Goldberger, D. Burshtein, H. Franco (1997), Segmental Modeling Using a Continuous Mixture of Non-Parametric Models, Proceedings of the 5th European Conference of Speech Communication and Technology, Rhodes, Greece.

H. Franco, M. Weintraub, M. Cohen (1997), Context Modeling in a Hybrid HMM-Neural Net Speech Recognition System Proceedings of the International Conference on Neural Networks, Houston, TX.

L. Neumeyer, H. Franco, M. Weintraub, and P. Price (1996) Automatic Text-Independent Pronunciation Scoring of Foreign Language Student Speech. Proc. Intl. Conf. on Spoken Language Processing, Philadelphia, PA.

V. Abrash, A. Sankar, H. Franco, and M. Cohen, Acoustic Adaptation Using Non-Linear Transformations of HMM Parameters. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing , pp. II-729--II-732, 1996.

A. Sankar, A. Stolcke, T. Chung, L. Neumeyer, M. Weintraub, H. Franco and F. Beaufays, Noise-resistant Feature Extraction and Model Training for Robust Speech Recognition. Proceedings of the DARPA CSR Workshop, Ardenhouse, NY, pp. 117--122, 1996.

V. Abrash, H. Franco, A. Sankar, and M. Cohen, Connectionist Speaker Normalization and Adaptation. Proceedings of the European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology, pp. 2183--2186, September, 1995.

H. Franco, V. Digalakis (1995), Temporal Correlation Modeling in a Hybrid Neural Network/Hidden Markov Model Speech Recognizer, Proceedings of the 4th European Conference of Speech Communication and Technology, Madrid, Spain.

V. Digalakis, M. Weintraub, A. Sankar, H. Franco, L. Neumeyer, and H. Murveit (1995). Continuous Speech Dictation on ARPA's North American Business News Domain. Proceedings of the Spoken Language Systems Technology Workshop , pp. 88--93.

H. Franco, M. Cohen, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash (1994), Context-Dependent Connectionist Probabilty Estimatation in a Hybrid Hidden Markov Model-Neural Net Speech Recognition System, Computer Speech & Language, 8, pg. 211-222.

V. Abrash, M. Cohen, H. Franco, and I. Arima (1994), Incorporating Linguistic Features in a Hybrid HMM/MLP Speech Recognizer, Proceedings International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, Adelaide, Australia.

Steve Renals, Nelson Morgan, Herve Bourlard, Michael Cohen and Horacio Franco (1994), Connectionist Probability Estimators in HMM Speech Recognition, IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, Vol. 2, No.1, part II, pp. 161-174, 1994.

Nelson Morgan, Hervé Bourlard, Steve Renals, Michael Cohen and Horacio Franco (1993), Hybrid Neural Network/Hidden Markov Model Systems for Continuous Speech Recognition. Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 7, No. 4 pp. 899-916. Also in I. Guyon and P. Wang editors, Advances in Pattern Recognition Systems using Neural Networks, Vol. 7 of a Series in Machine Perception and Artificial Intelligence. World Scientific, Feb. 1994.

R. Moore, M. Cohen, V. Abrash, D. Appelt, H. Bratt, J. Butzberger, L. Cherny, J. Dowding, H. Franco, J. Gawron, and D. Moran (1994), SRI's Recent Progress on the ATIS task, in Proceedings of the Spoken Language Systems Technology Workshop, Plainsboro, NJ, pp. 72-75, (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc. San Francisco, CA).

Y. Konig, N. Morgan, C. Wooters, V. Abrash, M. Cohen, and H. Franco (1993), Modeling Consistency in a Speaker Independent Continuous Speech Recognition System, In Hanson. J.S., Cowan. J.D., and Giles. C.L., editors, Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 5, San Mateo,CA, Morgan Kaufman.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash (1993), Context-Dependent Multiple Distribution Phonetic Modeling with MLPs, Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 5, Hanson, et al., (eds.), Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash (1992), Hybrid Neural Network/Hidden Markov Model Continuous Speech Recognition, Proceedings of the International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, Banff, Canada.

V. Abrash, H. Franco, M. Cohen, N. Morgan, Y. Konig (1992), Connectionist Gender Adaptation in a Hybrid Neural Network / Hidden Markov Model Speech Recognition System, Proceedings International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, Banff, Canada.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash (1992), Multiple-State Context-Dependent Phonetic Modeling with MLPs, Proceedings of Speech Research Symposium XII, Baltimore, MD.

H. Franco, M. Cohen, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash (1992), Context-Dependent Connectionist Probability Estimation in a Hybrid HMM-Neural Net Speech Recognition System, Proceedings International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, Beijing, China.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash, Y. Konig (1992), Integrating Neural Networks into Computer Speech Recognition Systems, Proceedings GOMAC-92.

S. Renals, N. Morgan, H. Bourlard, H. Franco, M. Cohen (1992), Connectionist Optimization of Tied Mixture Hidden Markov Models", Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems , (J. E. Moody, S. J. Hanson, and R. P. Lippmann, Eds.) San Mateo CA: Morgan Kaufmann, pp. 167-174, Vol. 4.

S. Renals, N. Morgan, M. Cohen, H. Franco (1992). Connectionist Probability Estimation in the Decipher Speech Recognition System, Proceedings of the International Conference in Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), pp. 601-604, San Francisco.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash, Y. Konig (1992), Combining Neural Networks and Hidden Markov Models, Proceedings of the DARPA Speech and Natural Language Workshop, Harriman, NY.

H. Franco, A. Serralheiro, Training HMM's with a minimum recognition error approach, Proceedings of the International Conference in Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 1991, Toronto, Canada, S. 5.27, pp. 357-360, Vol.1.

H. Franco and A. Serralheiro (1990), A New Discriminative Training Algorithm for Hidden Markov Models, Proceedings of the International Conference in Spoken Language Pro- cessing (ICSLP90), Vol. 1 pp. 373-376. Kobe, Japan.

J. Gurlekian, H. Franco, and M. Santagada (1990), Speaker Independent Recognition of Isolated Spanish Digits, Proceedings of the International Conference in Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP90) , Vol. 1 pp. 529-532. Kobe, Japan.

H. Franco (1990), Recognition of Intervocalic Stops in Continuous Speech Using Context-Dependent Hidden Markov Models. The Journal of The Acoustical Society of Japan (E), Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 131-143.

J. Gurlekian, H. Franco, M. Santagada (1989), Periodicity-noise acoustic space for Spanish consonants, Proceedings of the Speech Research '89 International Conference, pp. 5-8, Budapest, Hungary.

J. Gurlekian, H. Franco, E. Rosso (1989), Spectral Variability in Spanish Digits, Revue de Phonétique Apliquée, No. 91, pp. 255-272. First presented in The First International Conference on Experimental Phonostilistics & Sociophonology and Speech Acoustic Variability, Florianópolis, Brazil, Apr 6-9, 1988.

H. Franco (1989), Context-Dependent Hidden Markov Models for Spanish Stops, Revue de Phonétique Apliquée, No. 91, pp. 213-225, 1989. First presented in The First International Conference on Experimental Phonostilistics & Sociophonology and Speech Acoustic Variability, Florianópolis, Brazil, Apr. 6-9, 1988.

H. Franco, J. Gurlekian (1987), Detección e Identificación Dependiente del Contexto de Consonantes Oclusivas en Habla Continua, Rev. Telegráfica de Electrónica, no. 888 pp. 1575-1581.

H. Franco, J. Gurlekian (1987), Context Dependent Recognition of Spanish Stops, Proceedings of the Eleventh International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Academy of Sciences of the Estonian S. S. R. Institute of Language and Literarure, Vol. 2, Se 37.3, pp. 384-387, Tallin, Estonia, URSS.

J. Gurlekian, M. Guirao, H. Franco (1985), Acoustic Characteristics and Perception of Spanish Stop Consonants. Transactions of the Committee on Speech Research / Hearing Research, The Acoustical Society of Japan, S 85-86, Japan.

M.L.F. de Mattielo, A. Biondini, H. Franco (1983), Correlates between chromatic electrophisiological recordings and chromatic psycophisical functions in normal and abnormal observers. Colour Vision Deficiencies VII, pp. 55-61, Dr. W. Junk Publishers The Hague, Boston, Lancaster, ISBN 90 6193 735 3. The Netherlands. First presented in VII International I.R.G.C.V.D. Symposium, Ginebra, Suiza, 1983.

J. Gurlekian, G. Toledo, H. Franco (1983), Identification of Spanish Vowels: Temporal and Spectral Relations, Study of Sounds, 1984, Vol 20, Part Two: Speech Education, pp. 264-268. Japan. First Presented in The Fourth World Congress of Phoneticians, The Phonetic Society of Japan, 1983.

J. Gurlekian, H. Franco (1983), Recognition of a Spanish VV Sequence, Proceedings of the Tenth Int. Congress of Phonetic Sciences, pp. 237-242, Foris Publications 1984. First presented in the Tenth Int. Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1983.

R. Lopardo, J. de Lío, G. Vernet, H. Franco, G. Tatone (1982), Verificación Prototipo-Modelo de Presiones Fluctuantes sobre Dientes Disipadores, Anales del X Congreso Latinoamericano de Hidráulica, I.A.H.R., Vol. 2, pp. 325-335, Mexico.

J. Coremberg, R. Goldrin, H. Franco (1977), Consideraciones Sobre la Investigación Acústica de la Atmósfera, Radar Acústico, Revista Telegráfica de Electrónica, no. 782. First presented in the III Jornadas Argentinas de Acústica, Buenos Aires, 1977.

Conference Communications

H. Franco, L. Neumeyer (1996), Automatic Scoring of Pronunciation Quality for Language Instruction, Third Joint Meeting Acoustical Soc. of America and Acoust. Soc. of Japan, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2-6 December, 1996.

M. Weitraub, A. Stolke, H. Franco, K. Taussig (1995), SRI: Switchboard Progress and Evaluation, LVCSR workshop, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, April 27-28.

H. Franco, V. Abrash, M. Cohen, A. Sankar, M. Weintraub (1994), Hybrid HMM/MLP Speech Recognition, ARPA Artificial Neural Network Technology 1994 Program Review, December 6-8, Key West, FL.

M. Weintraub, H. Franco, M. Cohen, K. Taussig, G. Chen, V. Digalakis, L. Neumeyer (1994), SRI System Description and R&D Report, 2nd Large Vocabulary Continuous Speech Recognition Workshop, Supercomputing Research Center, Bowie, Maryland, November 17-18, 1994.

M. Weintraub, J. Butzberger, H. Franco, K. Taussig, G. Chen, H. Murveit, M. Cohen (1994), Transcription and Wordspotting Using Spoken Language Systems and Neural Networks, Speech Research Symposium XIV, June 22.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart, V. Abrash (1993), Hybrid neural network / hidden Markov model speech recognition, in DARPA Artificial Neural Network Technology Review, Arlington, VA, Apr. 93.

S. Renals, N. Morgan, M. Cohen, H. Franco, H. Bourlard (1992), Improving Statistical Speech Recognition, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks 92 (IJCNN'92), San Diego, CA, 1992.

M. Cohen, D. Rumelhart, N. Morgan, H. Franco, V. Abrash and Y. Konig (1992), Combining Neural Networks and Hidden Markov Models for Continuous Speech Recognition, ARPA Continuous Speech Recognition Workshop, Stanford University, Stanford, California, September 21-22.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, V. Abrash, N. Morgan, D. Rumelhart (1992), Multiple-State Context-Dependent Phonetic Modeling with MLPs, Proceedings of the Speech Research Symposium XII, MD, June 92.

M. Cohen, H. Franco, V. Abrash, N. Morgan, S. Renals, C. Wooters, Y. Konig, and D. Rumelhart (1992), Hybrid HMM-MLP for continuous speech recognition, Proceedings of the DARPA Artificial Neural Network Technology Speech Evaluation Workshop, Arlington, VA, Mar. 92.

M. Cohen, D. Rumelhart, H. Franco, V. Abrash, N. Morgan, C. Wooters, S. Renals, H. Bourlard, D. Specht, and P. Shapiro (1991), Hybrid neural network / hidden Markov model speech recognition, DARPA Artificial Neural Network Technology Program Review, Arlington, VA, Dec. 91.

D. Rumelhart, M. Cohen, H. Franco, V. Abrash (1991), Supplementing HMM Continuous Speech Recognition with Neural Network Word Spotting. Proceedings of the Speech Research Symposium XI, Baltimore, MD.

H. Franco (1988), Hidden Markov Models for the Spanish Stops, Second Joint Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Acoustical Society of Japan, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Supp. 1 Vol. 84, pp. S 62, Fall 1988.

J. A. Gurlekian, Franco, H. E., Guirao M. (1987), On the Identification of Spanish Voiced Stops, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Supp. 1 Vol 82, (S119).

P. Univaso, E. Rosso y H. Franco (1986), Automatic recognition of isolated Spanish CV syllables, 111th Meeting of the Acoustical Soc. of America, Cleveland, Ohio. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Supp. 1 Vol 79, pp. S96.

H. Franco (1986), Automatic recognition of intervocalic voiced stops, 111th Meeting of the Acoustical Soc. of America, Cleveland, Ohio. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Supp. 1 Vol 79, pp. S96, 1986.

H. Franco, J. Gurlekian (1985), Recognition of Spanish Intervocalic Consonants", 109th Meeting of the Acoustical Soc. of America , Session L. April 9, 1985, Austin, Texas, Estados Unidos. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Supp. 1 Vol 77, pp. S27.

R. Lopardo, J. de Lío, G. Vernet, H. Franco (1980), Determinación de Fluctuaciones de Presión en Disipadores a Resalto Mediante Modelos Físicos Convencionales", X Congreso Nacional del Agua.

Technical Reports

H. Franco, V. Abrash, M. Cohen, A. Sankar, V. Digalakis, J. Goldberger, M. Weintraub (1997), Speech Modeling With Neural Networks, Final Report, Speech Technology and Research Laboratory, SRI International.

L. Neumeyer, F. Weng, H. Franco, H. Bratt, A. Stolcke, P. Price, V. Digalakis, J. Kaja, R. Eklund (1997), Spoken Language Translation (SLT2) Project Speech Research Final Report, Joint report by the Speech Technology and Research Laboratory, SRI International, the Technical University of Crete, and Telia Research.

H. Franco, V. Abrash, M. Cohen (1995), Neural Net Trainer for SRI's Hybrid HMM/MLP Speech Recognition System. SRI Technical Report.

M. Weintraub, V. Abrash, H. Franco, M. Cohen (1995), SRI Telespot, An LVCSR Telephone Transcription and Wordspotting System, Version using Multi-Layer Perceptrons, SRI Technical Report.

H. Franco (1993), Implementing a Weight Elimination and Pruning Scheme for the Hybrid NN/HMM Speech Recognition System, SRI Technical Report.

S. Renals, N. Morgan, H. Bourlard, M. Cohen, H. Franco, C. Wooters and P. Kohn (1991), Connectionist Speech Recognition: Status and Prospects, International Computer Science Institute.

Previous Technical Reports (in Spanish)

Book Chapter

J. Bernstein, H. Franco (1994), Speech Recognition by Computer, in Principles of Experimental Phonetics, N. Lass Ed.

Patents

L. Neumeyer, H. Franco, M. Weintraub, P. Price, V. Digalakis (1998) Method and System for Automatic Text-Independent Grading of Pronunciation for Language Instruction", filed U.S. Patent on Sept. 98.

M.Cohen, H. Franco (1994), Method and Apparatus for Context-Dependent Estimation of Multiple Probability Distributions of Phonetic Classes with Multilayer Perceptrons in a Speech Recognition System, U.S Patent, May 94.

Divulgation

N. Morgan, H. Franco (1997), Application of Neural Networks to Speech Recognition, in The Past, Present, and Future of Neural Networks for Signal Processing, IEEE SIgnal Processing Magazine, Nov. 97.

H. Franco (1986). Desarrollos en Reconocimiento Computarizado del Habla, Mundo Informático, Vol V, no. 131, 1986.

J. Gurlekian, H. Franco, G. Toledo (1983), Procesamiento de Señales de Habla, Quid, no. 14.

 

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