DRA files - acustic language mode optimization

Does keeping the DRA files make any sense now with DNS 11 Pro? If I keep them and run the acoustic optimization and language mode optimization, does that add anything to the resulting accuracy? I noticed in a section of your VoicePower program under Maintenance, that it said to remove the DRA files (I guess because they can become pretty large and therefore use up a lot of space).

Speaking of acoustic optimization and language mode optimization, how often should one run those programs in DNS 11 Pro?


Yes, keeping the dra files is just as important in DNS 11 as it was in previous versions. Nothing has changed in this regard.

The only reference to removing the dra files in the VoicePower documentation is relative to: (a) if you want to or need to because they're taking up too much space and you have limited hard drive capacity, or (b) if you are having a problem with certain dra files that are stored in the drafiles folder.

Yes, the dra files can become very large. However, DNS 11 handles this via the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer much more efficiently. Therefore, you should only remove these if you're having a problem or if you have limited disk space and you have to.

Otherwise, the benefit of retaining your dra files is the same for DNS 11 as regards the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you retain your dra files, then you should probably run the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer at least once a week. I usually judge the length of time between running the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer (accuracy tuning) based on the number of corrections that I'm making, or have to make. If I'm making a lot of corrections for whatever reason, or adding a lot of words to my custom words, then I usually run it twice a week. Another factor involves how much dictation that you do. If you dictate daily for 6 to 8 hours, then you may want to run the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer more often so that it analyzes the dra files and removes the ones that are no longer necessary afterwards. It's basically a judgment call. The only thing you can really do is experiment and see what the benefits are in running the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer more or less frequently. I usually take a look at the list of dra files in the drafiles folder just to see how many there are and how large they are. That usually gives me a clue as to whether or not it's time to run the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer. On the other hand, don't mess around with the files that the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer modifies (i.e., *.dft & *.nwv) if they exist. My experience is that DNS 11 definitely improves its accuracy when running the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer with dra files.

Chucker2010-09-12 10:11:16


I don't ever recall anything about this in the DNS documentation from Nuance... go figure... Maybe I just missed it... ;-)

You didn’t miss it, it never was there in any form that was understandable or clearly explained the purpose of that option. There is a brief reference to it in the help, but not very useful.

One quick follow up on DRA files… Because I have 2 hard drives, I would like to keep the DRA files on the second hard drive. How do I change the default location of the DRA files in DNS 11 Pro?


You can’t. That was never possible in any version of DNS and never will be. The Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer always looks for these dra files in the drafiles folder, which is always stored with your user profile and can’t be moved by itself.

However, you can change the default location for your user profiles to a USB thumb drive or second hard drive by moving those files to wherever you want them and changing the “Default” location for your user profiles.

The only caveat is that if you’re using a USB thumb drive, writing to that thumb drive will be 2 1/2 times slower than reading from it. So, saving your user profiles is going to be a tad slower by 2 1/2 times the time it takes to read from the thumb drive. However, when opening DNS, you generally don’t get slowed down. Where you do get slow down is if DNS, for whatever reason, is continually requesting that Windows write DNS information (or any other information) to that thumb drive because the writes are two and a half times slower than the reads. Therefore if you’re concerned about write speeds, you’re better off using a second hard drive (preferably one just as fast as your boot (C drive) drive). Just make sure that whatever drive you choose to change the location of your user profiles contains those user profiles and is active when you attempt to load DNS and your user profiles. Otherwise you get an obvious error. Chucker2010-09-12 19:03:00