In this paper, we apply a latent class model (LCM) to the task of speaker diarization. LCM is similar to Patrick Kenny’s variational Bayes (VB) method in that it uses soft information and avoids premature hard decisions in its iterations. In contrast to the VB method, which is based on a generative model, LCM provides a framework allowing both generative and discriminative models. The discriminative property is realized through the use of i-vector (Ivec), probabilistic linear discriminative analysis (PLDA), and a support vector machine (SVM) in this work. Systems denoted as LCM-Ivec-PLDA, LCM-Ivec-SVM, and LCM-Ivec-Hybrid are introduced. In addition, three further improvements are applied to enhance its performance. (1) Adding neighbor windows to extract more speaker information for each short segment. (2) Using a hidden Markov model to avoid frequent speaker change points. (3) Using an agglomerative hierarchical cluster to do initialization and present hard and soft priors, in order to overcome the problem of initial sensitivity. Experiments on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Rich Transcription 2009 speaker diarization database, under the condition of a single distant microphone, show that the diarization error rate (DER) of the proposed methods has substantial relative improvements compared with mainstream systems. Compared to the VB method, the relative improvements of LCM-Ivec-PLDA, LCM-Ivec-SVM, and LCM-Ivec-Hybrid systems are 23.5%, 27.1%, and 43.0%, respectively. Experiments on our collected database, CALLHOME97, CALLHOME00, and SRE08 short2-summed trial conditions also show that the proposed LCM-Ivec-Hybrid system has the best overall performance.

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Published in EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing, v. 2019, article no. 12, p. 1-19.

© The Author(s). 2019

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61403224.

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The CALLHOME00, NIST RT05/RT06/RT09, and NIST SRE08 database were released by NIST during evaluation. The abovementioned data and LDC CALLHOME97 can also be obtained by LDC (https://www.ldc.upenn.edu/). For the TL database, please contact author for data requests (heliang@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn).