I am refering to this particular question. I had suggested a link to MFCC on Wikipedia in a comment but to see no improvement. If i put myself in the shoes of an expert, I feel extremely annoyed and repulsive to questions and answers like this. More over when i think of the up votes of these posts in this Q&A, i am worried where this site is heading to. I'd appreciate your comments on this.

Added : (..in view of comment below) The OP is seeking explanation of how a speech signal is represented by a feature vector. The most commonly used feature for speech recognition is MFCC, although there are many systems which use different types of features. The method of extracting the MFCC feature from speech signal is given in this link very clearly. In this answer the answerer starts with the tool called 'HTK' which is not relevant to the question directly and further does not bother to mention any reference or link to it. Then he goes on to say how speech recognition is carried on in brain and claims that it is very similar to that being done with this tool called 'HTK'. Here itself you can see how irrelavant it is to the particular question and he creates more chaos further in the answer by trying to explain the speech recognition method. It heavily lacks scientific method and is very annoying.

The OP mentions in the question that he understands HMM based speech recognition to some extent, without knowing what a feature vector is ? I wonder to what extent he understands. He does not mention any home work he did before asking the question. A HMM based speech recognition can use any type of feature vector and not necessarily MFCC, and if one has to answer this question he should presume it to be something which is popular and hence MFCC could be one choice. There are so many irrelevant things in these posts which i am tired to mention.

I have mentioned a link to a Wikipedia article on MFCC in a comment, which is very decent by all standards, but no one seems to acknowledge it and some have blidly upvoted the answer. I find these posts to be quite ridiculous and I am sure if this goes on, no expert in the field want to be associated with this site and further some of the existing members upvote each other and think of themselves as experts. I am not bothered by the correctness of the posts but the irrationality in these posts and upvotes.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you point to some of the inaccuracies and half-truths? $\endgroup$
    – user42
    Aug 18, 2011 at 12:08

2 Answers 2


If an answer is incorrect or misleading, downvote it and explain in strong terms, your reasoning for the downvote and why it is inaccurate. That way, future visitors can evaluate the answer in light of your comments and decide.

Unfortunately, downvoting is the only option here, as the "delete as not an answer" option for mods is reserved mainly for spam and obnoxious answers and answers that should've been a comment in the first place.

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    $\begingroup$ "If an answer is incorrect or misleading, downvote it and explain in strong terms, your reasoning for the downvote and why it is inaccurate." And then we get further incorrect and off-the-wall responses and it pretty much gets down to being reminded of the aphorism "Never argue with an idiot; people watching might not be able to tell the difference." $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2011 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible to downvote a comment that is misleading or inaccurate? and how does one explain (in strong terms) the reason for the downvote in a comment which is itself restricted in length, and in which LaTEx formatting stuff is counted as part of the length? Posting an answer (or another answer) leads to a break-up of the thread of thought. I took the route of flagging a comment that I felt was inaccurate. Perhaps the moderators need to handle such stuff? $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2011 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DilipSarwate Downvotes are not possible on comments. Comments were originally intended for obtaining clarifications from the OP or the answerer and not really for discussions. However, it does happen quite often, and that's when people hit the 500 char limit :). The solution is to use the chat room for discussions. This is much better than comments and if two people happen to be online at the same time, you can even have a real time conversation. It works well offline too. The only drawback is that it doesn't support latex yet, although it's something they're looking into $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2011 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @DilipSarwate I've had issues with not being able to write a long message in the comments in the past. However, I think that's a good thing. I try to make a point/correct someone, but if they are stubborn and don't agree or are not engaging well, then I just walk away instead of long conversations. So in some sense, the char limit is good. Thanks for the flag. I left a comment asking JasonR to incorporate anything useful from the comments into his answer. I'll nuke all the comments from there since it has just devolved into a nonconstructive back and forth between the two. $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2011 at 15:19

In addition to @yoda's answer about voting, don't forget the wiki aspect to this site…

If you see an answer that could be improved, edit it! If you simply have a better answer to offer, post a better answer! That goes for improving questions, too.

A big part of this process is actively building the best possible canonical answers to these questions… collectively.

If this site isn't going to be interesting for experts, it is your responsibility to fix the content. It's not enough to use wishful thinking to hope everyone here will be unwaveringly brilliant. This is a collective effort to make this site a place where experts will want to hang out.

So, go ahead and fix the questions answers you see as lacking or go ahead and add better ones.

In these earliest stages, it is so important to get the best possible quality posts. When experts come across your site, you want them to see very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other forum on the Internet. You want them say "Wow, this is the site for me!" If you can't fix this stuff now, you will not likely get a second chance.

See the blog post: Asking the First Questions


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