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Lei Xie

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A Universal Framework for Accurate and Efficient Geometric Deep Learning of Molecular Systems

Nov 19, 2023
Shuo Zhang, Yang Liu, Lei Xie

Molecular sciences address a wide range of problems involving molecules of different types and sizes and their complexes. Recently, geometric deep learning, especially Graph Neural Networks, has shown promising performance in molecular science applications. However, most existing works often impose targeted inductive biases to a specific molecular system, and are inefficient when applied to macromolecules or large-scale tasks, thereby limiting their applications to many real-world problems. To address these challenges, we present PAMNet, a universal framework for accurately and efficiently learning the representations of three-dimensional (3D) molecules of varying sizes and types in any molecular system. Inspired by molecular mechanics, PAMNet induces a physics-informed bias to explicitly model local and non-local interactions and their combined effects. As a result, PAMNet can reduce expensive operations, making it time and memory efficient. In extensive benchmark studies, PAMNet outperforms state-of-the-art baselines regarding both accuracy and efficiency in three diverse learning tasks: small molecule properties, RNA 3D structures, and protein-ligand binding affinities. Our results highlight the potential for PAMNet in a broad range of molecular science applications.

* Scientific Reports 13, 19171 (2023)  
* Published in Scientific Reports (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-46382-8) 
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Decoupling and Interacting Multi-Task Learning Network for Joint Speech and Accent Recognition

Nov 17, 2023
Qijie Shao, Pengcheng Guo, Jinghao Yan, Pengfei Hu, Lei Xie

Accents, as variations from standard pronunciation, pose significant challenges for speech recognition systems. Although joint automatic speech recognition (ASR) and accent recognition (AR) training has been proven effective in handling multi-accent scenarios, current multi-task ASR-AR approaches overlook the granularity differences between tasks. Fine-grained units capture pronunciation-related accent characteristics, while coarse-grained units are better for learning linguistic information. Moreover, an explicit interaction of two tasks can also provide complementary information and improve the performance of each other, but it is rarely used by existing approaches. In this paper, we propose a novel Decoupling and Interacting Multi-task Network (DIMNet) for joint speech and accent recognition, which is comprised of a connectionist temporal classification (CTC) branch, an AR branch, an ASR branch, and a bottom feature encoder. Specifically, AR and ASR are first decoupled by separated branches and two-granular modeling units to learn task-specific representations. The AR branch is from our previously proposed linguistic-acoustic bimodal AR model and the ASR branch is an encoder-decoder based Conformer model. Then, for the task interaction, the CTC branch provides aligned text for the AR task, while accent embeddings extracted from our AR model are incorporated into the ASR branch's encoder and decoder. Finally, during ASR inference, a cross-granular rescoring method is introduced to fuse the complementary information from the CTC and attention decoder after the decoupling. Our experiments on English and Chinese datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model, which achieves 21.45%/28.53% AR accuracy relative improvement and 32.33%/14.55% ASR error rate relative reduction over a published standard baseline, respectively.

* Accepted by IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing (TASLP) 
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SponTTS: modeling and transferring spontaneous style for TTS

Nov 13, 2023
Hanzhao Li, Xinfa Zhu, Liumeng Xue, Yang Song, Yunlin Chen, Lei Xie

Spontaneous speaking style exhibits notable differences from other speaking styles due to various spontaneous phenomena (e.g., filled pauses, prolongation) and substantial prosody variation (e.g., diverse pitch and duration variation, occasional non-verbal speech like smile), posing challenges to modeling and prediction of spontaneous style. Moreover, the limitation of high-quality spontaneous data constrains spontaneous speech generation for speakers without spontaneous data. To address these problems, we propose SponTTS, a two-stage approach based on bottleneck (BN) features to model and transfer spontaneous style for TTS. In the first stage, we adopt a Conditional Variational Autoencoder (CVAE) to capture spontaneous prosody from a BN feature and involve the spontaneous phenomena by the constraint of spontaneous phenomena embedding prediction loss. Besides, we introduce a flow-based predictor to predict a latent spontaneous style representation from the text, which enriches the prosody and context-specific spontaneous phenomena during inference. In the second stage, we adopt a VITS-like module to transfer the spontaneous style learned in the first stage to target speakers. Experiments demonstrate that SponTTS is effective in modeling spontaneous style and transferring the style to the target speakers, generating spontaneous speech with high naturalness, expressiveness, and speaker similarity. The zero-shot spontaneous style TTS test further verifies the generalization and robustness of SponTTS in generating spontaneous speech for unseen speakers.

* 5 pages, 3 figures 
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Sensing Mutual Information with Random Signals in Gaussian Channels

Nov 13, 2023
Lei Xie, Fan Liu, Zhanyuan Xie, Zheng Jiang, Shenghui Song

Sensing performance is typically evaluated by classical metrics, such as Cramer-Rao bound and signal-to-clutter-plus-noise ratio. The recent development of the integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) framework motivated the efforts to unify the metric for sensing and communication, where researchers have proposed to utilize mutual information (MI) to measure the sensing performance with deterministic signals. However, the need to communicate in ISAC systems necessitates the use of random signals for sensing applications and the closed-form evaluation for the sensing mutual information (SMI) with random signals is not yet available in the literature. This paper investigates the achievable performance and precoder design for sensing applications with random signals. For that purpose, we first derive the closed-form expression for the SMI with random signals by utilizing random matrix theory. The result reveals some interesting physical insights regarding the relation between the SMI with deterministic and random signals. The derived SMI is then utilized to optimize the precoder by leveraging a manifold-based optimization approach. The effectiveness of the proposed methods is validated by simulation results.

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Multi-Speaker Expressive Speech Synthesis via Semi-supervised Contrastive Learning

Oct 26, 2023
Xinfa Zhu, Yuke Li, Yi Lei, Ning Jiang, Guoqing Zhao, Lei Xie

This paper aims to build an expressive TTS system for multi-speakers, synthesizing a target speaker's speech with multiple styles and emotions. To this end, we propose a novel contrastive learning-based TTS approach to transfer style and emotion across speakers. Specifically, we construct positive-negative sample pairs at both utterance and category (such as emotion-happy or style-poet or speaker A) levels and leverage contrastive learning to better extract disentangled style, emotion, and speaker representations from speech. Furthermore, we introduce a semi-supervised training strategy to the proposed approach to effectively leverage multi-domain data, including style-labeled data, emotion-labeled data, and unlabeled data. We integrate the learned representations into an improved VITS model, enabling it to synthesize expressive speech with diverse styles and emotions for a target speaker. Experiments on multi-domain data demonstrate the good design of our model.

* 5 pages, 3 figures 
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Conversational Speech Recognition by Learning Audio-textual Cross-modal Contextual Representation

Oct 22, 2023
Kun Wei, Bei Li, Hang Lv, Quan Lu, Ning Jiang, Lei Xie

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) in conversational settings presents unique challenges, including extracting relevant contextual information from previous conversational turns. Due to irrelevant content, error propagation, and redundancy, existing methods struggle to extract longer and more effective contexts. To address this issue, we introduce a novel Conversational ASR system, extending the Conformer encoder-decoder model with cross-modal conversational representation. Our approach leverages a cross-modal extractor that combines pre-trained speech and text models through a specialized encoder and a modal-level mask input. This enables the extraction of richer historical speech context without explicit error propagation. We also incorporate conditional latent variational modules to learn conversational level attributes such as role preference and topic coherence. By introducing both cross-modal and conversational representations into the decoder, our model retains context over longer sentences without information loss, achieving relative accuracy improvements of 8.8% and 23% on Mandarin conversation datasets HKUST and MagicData-RAMC, respectively, compared to the standard Conformer model.

* Submitted to TASLP 
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Vec-Tok Speech: speech vectorization and tokenization for neural speech generation

Oct 12, 2023
Xinfa Zhu, Yuanjun Lv, Yi Lei, Tao Li, Wendi He, Hongbin Zhou, Heng Lu, Lei Xie

Language models (LMs) have recently flourished in natural language processing and computer vision, generating high-fidelity texts or images in various tasks. In contrast, the current speech generative models are still struggling regarding speech quality and task generalization. This paper presents Vec-Tok Speech, an extensible framework that resembles multiple speech generation tasks, generating expressive and high-fidelity speech. Specifically, we propose a novel speech codec based on speech vectors and semantic tokens. Speech vectors contain acoustic details contributing to high-fidelity speech reconstruction, while semantic tokens focus on the linguistic content of speech, facilitating language modeling. Based on the proposed speech codec, Vec-Tok Speech leverages an LM to undertake the core of speech generation. Moreover, Byte-Pair Encoding (BPE) is introduced to reduce the token length and bit rate for lower exposure bias and longer context coverage, improving the performance of LMs. Vec-Tok Speech can be used for intra- and cross-lingual zero-shot voice conversion (VC), zero-shot speaking style transfer text-to-speech (TTS), speech-to-speech translation (S2ST), speech denoising, and speaker de-identification and anonymization. Experiments show that Vec-Tok Speech, built on 50k hours of speech, performs better than other SOTA models. Code will be available at .

* 15 pages, 2 figures 
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SALT: Distinguishable Speaker Anonymization Through Latent Space Transformation

Oct 08, 2023
Yuanjun Lv, Jixun Yao, Peikun Chen, Hongbin Zhou, Heng Lu, Lei Xie

Speaker anonymization aims to conceal a speaker's identity without degrading speech quality and intelligibility. Most speaker anonymization systems disentangle the speaker representation from the original speech and achieve anonymization by averaging or modifying the speaker representation. However, the anonymized speech is subject to reduction in pseudo speaker distinctiveness, speech quality and intelligibility for out-of-distribution speaker. To solve this issue, we propose SALT, a Speaker Anonymization system based on Latent space Transformation. Specifically, we extract latent features by a self-supervised feature extractor and randomly sample multiple speakers and their weights, and then interpolate the latent vectors to achieve speaker anonymization. Meanwhile, we explore the extrapolation method to further extend the diversity of pseudo speakers. Experiments on Voice Privacy Challenge dataset show our system achieves a state-of-the-art distinctiveness metric while preserving speech quality and intelligibility. Our code and demo is availible at .

* 8 pages, 3 figures; Accepted by ASRU2023 
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PromptSpeaker: Speaker Generation Based on Text Descriptions

Oct 08, 2023
Yongmao Zhang, Guanghou Liu, Yi Lei, Yunlin Chen, Hao Yin, Lei Xie, Zhifei Li

Recently, text-guided content generation has received extensive attention. In this work, we explore the possibility of text description-based speaker generation, i.e., using text prompts to control the speaker generation process. Specifically, we propose PromptSpeaker, a text-guided speaker generation system. PromptSpeaker consists of a prompt encoder, a zero-shot VITS, and a Glow model, where the prompt encoder predicts a prior distribution based on the text description and samples from this distribution to obtain a semantic representation. The Glow model subsequently converts the semantic representation into a speaker representation, and the zero-shot VITS finally synthesizes the speaker's voice based on the speaker representation. We verify that PromptSpeaker can generate speakers new from the training set by objective metrics, and the synthetic speaker voice has reasonable subjective matching quality with the speaker prompt.

* Accepted to ASRU 2023 
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