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OpenKWS15 Evaluation

The OpenKWS15 is currently accepting signups for the evaluation. To join the evaluation or inquire about the evaluation, send an email to openkws-poc [at] (openkws-poc[at]nist[dot]gov) to be added to the mailing lists. Developers are expected to build systems according to the published evaluation plan. The significant changes between OpenKWS14 and OpenKWS15 are:
  • OpenKWS volunteer teams will be supported in multilingual KWS by the release of Build Packs for Cantonese, Pashto, Tagalog, and Turkish in addition to the Vietnamese and Tamil data.
  • Evaluation condition changes:
    • Introduction of the "Very Limited Language Pack" (VLLP) training condition where the build pack consists of 80 hours of audio with call metadata, no phonetic lexicon, 3 hours of transcription excerpts sampled from many training calls. An LSP, like in prior OpenKWS evaluations, will be provided.
    • Additional web text will be provided with the build pack.
    • The Limited Language Pack training condition will be discontinued.
    • The phonetic lexicons will be released only after the evaluation to support analysis.
    • VLLP is required for volunteers who chose to participate in the OpenKWS evaluation.
  • Build pack changes:
    • A portion of the build pack will be designated as the 'tuning set' for setting weights etc.
  • Evaluation schedule changes:
    • Reduction of KWS system build time from 3 to 2 weeks.
    • Two rounds of testing:
      • 1 week for to process the evaluation pack for VLLP condition.
      • 3 weeks to train and test systems for the Full LP condition and additional contrastive system runs.

Signup procedure

  1. Read the evaluation plan to become familiar with the evaluation.
  2. Sign and return the OpenKWS15 Registration Form to openkws-poc [at] (openkws-poc[at]nist[dot]gov).
  3. Sign and return the OpenKWS15 Evaluation Data Agreement to openkws-poc [at] (openkws-poc[at]nist[dot]gov).
  4. Complete a Dry Run Evaluation.  
    • The dry run is an opportunity for developers to make sure they are able to generate valid system output that can be scored with the NIST scoring tools. The actual performance of the system is not of interest during the dry run so developers may feel free to use any method to generate their system output, e.g., a random system, training on the dry run data, etc. The Evaluation Infrastructure Setup Instructions enumerate the steps to complete a dry run. 
    • NIST highly encourages new teams to build a Vietnamese system to familiarize themselves with the Babel resources in advance of the surprise language evaluation as part of their dry run.


December 1 2014 OpenKWS15 registration closes
April 22, 2015
Surprise language build pack download begins
April 28 2015, 2:00 PM EDT NIST sends password for surprise language build pack
May 5, 2015 Surprise language evaluation pack download begins

May 12, 2015, 2:00 pm EDT

NIST sends password for surprise language evaluation pack and keywords
May 19, 2015, 2:00pm EDT Sites submit surprise language system VLLP outputs to NIST
May 20, 2015
NIST posts FullLP Transcripts results
June 2, 2015 NIST reports surprise language VLLP scores without reference transcripts
June 10, 2015 Sites submit surprise language FullLP output to NIST
June 12, 2015 NIST reports surprise language FullLP results
July 21, 2015 OpenKWS14 meeting in Washington DC metro area


Data Resources

The OpenKWS15 Data Resources page contains four types of resources:  build packs, evaluation packs, IndusDB releases, and Language Pack Resources. Teams must complete both the registration form and data license in order receive data.  Resources will be distributed as follows:

  • Build packs:
    • Build packs for Cantonese, Pashto, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese and Tamil will be distributed to teams that signup for OpenKWS15.
    • The 2015 Surprise Language build pack will be distributed according to the schedule above
  • Evaluation packs:
    • Evaluation packs for Vietnamese and Tamil will be distributed to teams that signup for OpenKWS15.
    • The part of the Evaluation Pack reference transcripts will be distributed to OpenKWS '14 participants and new participants that successfully submit results on the Vietnamese or Tamil eval pack.
    • The 2015 Surprise Language evaluation pack will be distributed according to the schedule above.
  • IndusDB: IndusDB releases will be issued as appropriate for the team.
  • Language Pack Resources: Language Pack Resources will be provided as appropriate for the team.

Evaluation tools

NIST provided tools are described in the Evaluation Infrastructure Setup Instructions.


openkws-poc [at] (openkws-poc[at]nist[dot]gov)

Created September 30, 2014, Updated August 25, 2016