06 January 2013

304. Getting started with Simon 0.4 on Debian Wheezy/Testing (very basic)

Here's how to get started with Simon 0.4 -- although be warned that I've never used Simon before, and that there are likely better resources out there.

In the few cases where I use the command line, I have presumed that you are using the same locations as shown in this post: http://verahill.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/303-building-simon-04-speech.html

In case you screw up, to wipe all previous settings, try:

find ~/.kde -name "simon*"|xargs -I {} rm {} -rf

If you're really desperate, nuke the entire ~/.kde folder, although that obviously has repercussions if you're actually using KDE and not GNOME. Also look under ~/tmp/$USER-kde -- I had simond put files there too.


Running simon
simond &

If you need to kill simond you can do
kill %1

assuming that you don't have any other background procs in that terminal.

1. Scenarios:
Click on Open, select Download and pick the scenarios which you are interested in. To make sure that things are working I'm more or less following the video.
In Scenarios, select a couple of H4W scenarios  (e.g. keyboard, mouse etc.) -- BUT NOT THE FIREFOX ONE, which causes trouble.

2. Speech Models:
Click on Open model, select Download and pick the Speech Model which you want. Pick the  HUB4 model since from the Youtube video it appears that you should match your scenarios and Speech models e.g. VF with VF and H4W with HUB4.

3. Server
Nothing weird here:

4. Sound Devices
I run my stuff via pulseaudio -- i.e. whatever the input source is there, will be used.

5. Volume
Do a bit of talking and see how the volume pans out. Ideally you should have any amplification of your microphone turned off, since that causes higher noise levels.

Julius problem:
If after clicking Finish you see this, you will want to work out what went wrong:
Make sure that you
1. compiled Simon with -DPJULIUS correctly set, and
2. you export the directory:
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.simon/julius/bin

Then restart simond and simon e.g. quit simon and kill simond, then launch simond in the background and then simon. To test if it's working correctly, go to Actions/Synchronize. No error means that it's working.

6. Get dictionary
Do e.g.
cd ~/.simon/
mkdir files
cd files
wget http://www.repository.voxforge1.org/downloads/SpeechCorpus/Trunk/Lexicon/VoxForge.tgz
tar xvf VoxForge.tgz

then select e.g. Standard, and click on Open "Standard"

  Click on Import Dictionary:
Select Shadow Dictionary and Next:
Pick HTK lexicon:

Import your file:
You should now see it compile the model and there should be stuff under Shadow Dictionary:

At this point you should be able to test whether you're being recognised. Make sure that the button says 'Activated' and not 'Activate'. Try speaking a few commands e.g. 'One', 'Two', 'Three','Chaos','Control' etc.

You'll see if it works by looking at "Last recognition results:".

Stuff that doesn't work: Configure Audio from within simon, Configure Acoustic Model from within Simon. Adaptive training with the VoxForge base model (complaining about grammar)

Stuff that does work: speech recognition, adaptive training for the HUB4 base model (and beautifully so).

While it's easy enough to get started, it does appear that there's no easy way of running the wizard again in case you want to change e.g. the base model or install more scenarios via download.

Obviously such a piece of software is fairly complex, and will have a high error rate, yet this is the type of software which should ideally just sit in the background and not really be noticed by the user -- it should (ideally) not require more work than e.g. using a mouse or a keyboard.

We're not quite there yet -- hence why we're at 0.4 and 1.0. Anyway, it's still kind of neat when my garbled utterances are correctly (most of the time) recognised by Simon. Now, how to get it to actually do stuff for me?

A. Get Scenarios later
visit http://kde-files.org/index.php?xcontentmode=692&PHPSESSID=0e48f2edd26bf70e676459a5465ec675

B. Get Base models later
visit http://kde-files.org/index.php?xcontentmode=648


  1. HUB4 from kde-files doesn't contain requeried hmmdefs file. Why?

    1. You may want to pose that question directly to the maintainers of those files.