Publication Date

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Mark Stamp

Second Advisor

Fabio Di Troia

Third Advisor

Teng Moh


momemtum, Hidden Markov Models


Momentum is a popular technique for improving convergence rates during gradient descent. In this research, we experiment with adding momentum to the Baum-Welch expectation-maximization algorithm for training Hidden Markov Models. We compare discrete Hidden Markov Models trained with and without momentum on English text and malware opcode data. The effectiveness of momentum is determined by measuring the changes in model score and classification accuracy due to momentum. Experiments indicate that adding momentum to Baum-Welch can reduce the number of iterations required for initial convergence during HMM training, particularly in cases where the model is slow to converge. However, momentum does not seem to improve final model performance at higher numbers of iterations.