Speaker extraction and diarization are two crucial enabling techniques for speech applications. Speaker extraction aims to extract a target speaker's voice from a multi-talk mixture, while speaker diarization demarcates speech segments by speaker, identifying `who spoke when'. The previous studies have typically treated the two tasks independently. However, the two tasks share a similar objective, that is to disentangle the speakers in the spectral domain for the former but in the temporal domain for the latter. It is logical to believe that the speaker turns obtained from speaker diarization can benefit speaker extraction, while the extracted speech offers more accurate speaker turns than the mixture speech. In this paper, we propose a unified framework called Universal Speaker Extraction and Diarization (USED). We extend the existing speaker extraction model to simultaneously extract the waveforms of all speakers. We also employ a scenario-aware differentiated loss function to address the problem of sparsely overlapped speech in real-world conversations. We show that the USED model significantly outperforms the baselines for both speaker extraction and diarization tasks, in both highly overlapped and sparsely overlapped scenarios. Audio samples are available at https://ajyy.github.io/demo/USED/.
Target speaker extraction aims to extract the speech of a specific speaker from a multi-talker mixture as specified by an auxiliary reference. Most studies focus on the scenario where the target speech is highly overlapped with the interfering speech. However, this scenario only accounts for a small percentage of real-world conversations. In this paper, we aim at the sparsely overlapped scenarios in which the auxiliary reference needs to perform two tasks simultaneously: detect the activity of the target speaker and disentangle the active speech from any interfering speech. We propose an audio-visual speaker extraction model named ActiveExtract, which leverages speaking activity from audio-visual active speaker detection (ASD). The ASD directly provides the frame-level activity of the target speaker, while its intermediate feature representation is trained to discriminate speech-lip synchronization that could be used for speaker disentanglement. Experimental results show our model outperforms baselines across various overlapping ratios, achieving an average improvement of more than 4 dB in terms of SI-SNR.
It is common in everyday spoken communication that we look at the turning head of a talker to listen to his/her voice. Humans see the talker to listen better, so do machines. However, previous studies on audio-visual speaker extraction have not effectively handled the varying talking face. This paper studies how to take full advantage of the varying talking face. We propose a Pose-Invariant Audio-Visual Speaker Extraction Network (PIAVE) that incorporates an additional pose-invariant view to improve audio-visual speaker extraction. Specifically, we generate the pose-invariant view from each original pose orientation, which enables the model to receive a consistent frontal view of the talker regardless of his/her head pose, therefore, forming a multi-view visual input for the speaker. Experiments on the multi-view MEAD and in-the-wild LRS3 dataset demonstrate that PIAVE outperforms the state-of-the-art and is more robust to pose variations.
The Audio-Visual Speaker Extraction (AVSE) algorithm employs parallel video recording to leverage two visual cues, namely speaker identity and synchronization, to enhance performance compared to audio-only algorithms. However, the visual front-end in AVSE is often derived from a pre-trained model or end-to-end trained, making it unclear which visual cue contributes more to the speaker extraction performance. This raises the question of how to better utilize visual cues. To address this issue, we propose two training strategies that decouple the learning of the two visual cues. Our experimental results demonstrate that both visual cues are useful, with the synchronization cue having a higher impact. We introduce a more explainable model, the Decoupled Audio-Visual Speaker Extraction (DAVSE) model, which leverages both visual cues.
Recently, stunning improvements on multi-channel speech separation have been achieved by neural beamformers when direction information is available. However, most of them neglect to utilize speaker's 2-dimensional (2D) location cues contained in mixture signal, which limits the performance when two sources come from close directions. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end beamforming network for 2D location guided speech separation merely given mixture signal. It first estimates discriminable direction and 2D location cues, which imply directions the sources come from in multi views of microphones and their 2D coordinates. These cues are then integrated into location-aware neural beamformer, thus allowing accurate reconstruction of two sources' speech signals. Experiments show that our proposed model not only achieves a comprehensive decent improvement compared to baseline systems, but avoids inferior performance on spatial overlapping cases.
Recently, many deep learning based beamformers have been proposed for multi-channel speech separation. Nevertheless, most of them rely on extra cues known in advance, such as speaker feature, face image or directional information. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end beamforming network for direction guided speech separation given merely the mixture signal, namely MIMO-DBnet. Specifically, we design a multi-channel input and multiple outputs architecture to predict the direction-of-arrival based embeddings and beamforming weights for each source. The precisely estimated directional embedding provides quite effective spatial discrimination guidance for the neural beamformer to offset the effect of phase wrapping, thus allowing more accurate reconstruction of two sources' speech signals. Experiments show that our proposed MIMO-DBnet not only achieves a comprehensive decent improvement compared to baseline systems, but also maintain the performance on high frequency bands when phase wrapping occurs.
Speaker extraction seeks to extract the target speech in a multi-talker scenario given an auxiliary reference. Such reference can be auditory, i.e., a pre-recorded speech, visual, i.e., lip movements, or contextual, i.e., phonetic sequence. References in different modalities provide distinct and complementary information that could be fused to form top-down attention on the target speaker. Previous studies have introduced visual and contextual modalities in a single model. In this paper, we propose a two-stage time-domain visual-contextual speaker extraction network named VCSE, which incorporates visual and self-enrolled contextual cues stage by stage to take full advantage of every modality. In the first stage, we pre-extract a target speech with visual cues and estimate the underlying phonetic sequence. In the second stage, we refine the pre-extracted target speech with the self-enrolled contextual cues. Experimental results on the real-world Lip Reading Sentences 3 (LRS3) database demonstrate that our proposed VCSE network consistently outperforms other state-of-the-art baselines.
Recent neural network based Direction of Arrival (DoA) estimation algorithms have performed well on unknown number of sound sources scenarios. These algorithms are usually achieved by mapping the multi-channel audio input to the single output (i.e. overall spatial pseudo-spectrum (SPS) of all sources), that is called MISO. However, such MISO algorithms strongly depend on empirical threshold setting and the angle assumption that the angles between the sound sources are greater than a fixed angle. To address these limitations, we propose a novel multi-channel input and multiple outputs DoA network called MIMO-DoAnet. Unlike the general MISO algorithms, MIMO-DoAnet predicts the SPS coding of each sound source with the help of the informative spatial covariance matrix. By doing so, the threshold task of detecting the number of sound sources becomes an easier task of detecting whether there is a sound source in each output, and the serious interaction between sound sources disappears during inference stage. Experimental results show that MIMO-DoAnet achieves relative 18.6% and absolute 13.3%, relative 34.4% and absolute 20.2% F1 score improvement compared with the MISO baseline system in 3, 4 sources scenes. The results also demonstrate MIMO-DoAnet alleviates the threshold setting problem and solves the angle assumption problem effectively.
Dual-encoder structure successfully utilizes two language-specific encoders (LSEs) for code-switching speech recognition. Because LSEs are initialized by two pre-trained language-specific models (LSMs), the dual-encoder structure can exploit sufficient monolingual data and capture the individual language attributes. However, existing methods have no language constraints on LSEs and underutilize language-specific knowledge of LSMs. In this paper, we propose a language-specific characteristic assistance (LSCA) method to mitigate the above problems. Specifically, during training, we introduce two language-specific losses as language constraints and generate corresponding language-specific targets for them. During decoding, we take the decoding abilities of LSMs into account by combining the output probabilities of two LSMs and the mixture model to obtain the final predictions. Experiments show that either the training or decoding method of LSCA can improve the model's performance. Furthermore, the best result can obtain up to 15.4% relative error reduction on the code-switching test set by combining the training and decoding methods of LSCA. Moreover, the system can process code-switching speech recognition tasks well without extra shared parameters or even retraining based on two pre-trained LSMs by using our method.