We propose a simple approach for weighting self-connecting edges in a Graph Convolutional Network (GCN) and show its impact on depression detection from transcribed clinical interviews. To this end, we use a GCN for modeling non-consecutive and long-distance semantics to classify the transcriptions into depressed or control subjects. The proposed method aims to mitigate the limiting assumptions of locality and the equal importance of self-connections vs. edges to neighboring nodes in GCNs, while preserving attractive features such as low computational cost, data agnostic, and interpretability capabilities. We perform an exhaustive evaluation in two benchmark datasets. Results show that our approach consistently outperforms the vanilla GCN model as well as previously reported results, achieving an F1=0.84% on both datasets. Finally, a qualitative analysis illustrates the interpretability capabilities of the proposed approach and its alignment with previous findings in psychology.
State-of-the-art ASR systems have achieved promising results by modeling local and global interactions separately. While the former can be computed efficiently, global interactions are usually modeled via attention mechanisms, which are expensive for long input sequences. Here, we address this by extending HyperMixer, an efficient alternative to attention exhibiting linear complexity, to the Conformer architecture for speech recognition, leading to HyperConformer. In particular, multi-head HyperConformer achieves comparable or higher recognition performance while being more efficient than Conformer in terms of inference speed, memory, parameter count, and available training data. HyperConformer achieves a word error rate of 2.9% on Librispeech test-clean with less than 8M neural parameters and a peak memory during training of 5.7GB, hence trainable with accessible hardware. Encoder speed is between 38% on mid-length speech and 56% on long speech faster than an equivalent Conformer. (The HyperConformer recipe is publicly available in: https://github.com/speechbrain/speechbrain/tree/develop/recipes/LibriSpeech/ASR/transformer/)
* Florian Mai and Juan Zuluaga-Gomez contributed equally. To appear in
Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech
Communication Association, INTERSPEECH 2023
Voice communication between air traffic controllers (ATCos) and pilots is critical for ensuring safe and efficient air traffic control (ATC). This task requires high levels of awareness from ATCos and can be tedious and error-prone. Recent attempts have been made to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into ATC in order to reduce the workload of ATCos. However, the development of data-driven AI systems for ATC demands large-scale annotated datasets, which are currently lacking in the field. This paper explores the lessons learned from the ATCO2 project, a project that aimed to develop a unique platform to collect and preprocess large amounts of ATC data from airspace in real time. Audio and surveillance data were collected from publicly accessible radio frequency channels with VHF receivers owned by a community of volunteers and later uploaded to Opensky Network servers, which can be considered an "unlimited source" of data. In addition, this paper reviews previous work from ATCO2 partners, including (i) robust automatic speech recognition, (ii) natural language processing, (iii) English language identification of ATC communications, and (iv) the integration of surveillance data such as ADS-B. We believe that the pipeline developed during the ATCO2 project, along with the open-sourcing of its data, will encourage research in the ATC field. A sample of the ATCO2 corpus is available on the following website: https://www.atco2.org/data, while the full corpus can be purchased through ELDA at http://catalog.elra.info/en-us/repository/browse/ELRA-S0484. We demonstrated that ATCO2 is an appropriate dataset to develop ASR engines when little or near to no ATC in-domain data is available. For instance, with the CNN-TDNNf kaldi model, we reached the performance of as low as 17.9% and 24.9% WER on public ATC datasets which is 6.6/7.6% better than "out-of-domain" but supervised CNN-TDNNf model.
In this paper we propose a novel virtual simulation-pilot engine for speeding up air traffic controller (ATCo) training by integrating different state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) based tools. The virtual simulation-pilot engine receives spoken communications from ATCo trainees, and it performs automatic speech recognition and understanding. Thus, it goes beyond only transcribing the communication and can also understand its meaning. The output is subsequently sent to a response generator system, which resembles the spoken read back that pilots give to the ATCo trainees. The overall pipeline is composed of the following submodules: (i) automatic speech recognition (ASR) system that transforms audio into a sequence of words; (ii) high-level air traffic control (ATC) related entity parser that understands the transcribed voice communication; and (iii) a text-to-speech submodule that generates a spoken utterance that resembles a pilot based on the situation of the dialogue. Our system employs state-of-the-art AI-based tools such as Wav2Vec 2.0, Conformer, BERT and Tacotron models. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work fully based on open-source ATC resources and AI tools. In addition, we have developed a robust and modular system with optional submodules that can enhance the system's performance by incorporating real-time surveillance data, metadata related to exercises (such as sectors or runways), or even introducing a deliberate read-back error to train ATCo trainees to identify them. Our ASR system can reach as low as 5.5% and 15.9% word error rates (WER) on high and low-quality ATC audio. We also demonstrate that adding surveillance data into the ASR can yield callsign detection accuracy of more than 96%.
In this paper, we perform an exhaustive evaluation of different representations to address the intent classification problem in a Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) setup. We benchmark three types of systems to perform the SLU intent detection task: 1) text-based, 2) lattice-based, and a novel 3) multimodal approach. Our work provides a comprehensive analysis of what could be the achievable performance of different state-of-the-art SLU systems under different circumstances, e.g., automatically- vs. manually-generated transcripts. We evaluate the systems on the publicly available SLURP spoken language resource corpus. Our results indicate that using richer forms of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) outputs allows SLU systems to improve in comparison to the 1-best setup (4% relative improvement). However, crossmodal approaches, i.e., learning from acoustic and text embeddings, obtains performance similar to the oracle setup, and a relative improvement of 18% over the 1-best configuration. Thus, crossmodal architectures represent a good alternative to overcome the limitations of working purely automatically generated textual data.
This paper describes a simple yet efficient repetition-based modular system for speeding up air-traffic controllers (ATCos) training. E.g., a human pilot is still required in EUROCONTROL's ESCAPE lite simulator (see https://www.eurocontrol.int/simulator/escape) during ATCo training. However, this need can be substituted by an automatic system that could act as a pilot. In this paper, we aim to develop and integrate a pseudo-pilot agent into the ATCo training pipeline by merging diverse artificial intelligence (AI) powered modules. The system understands the voice communications issued by the ATCo, and, in turn, it generates a spoken prompt that follows the pilot's phraseology to the initial communication. Our system mainly relies on open-source AI tools and air traffic control (ATC) databases, thus, proving its simplicity and ease of replicability. The overall pipeline is composed of the following: (1) a submodule that receives and pre-processes the input stream of raw audio, (2) an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system that transforms audio into a sequence of words; (3) a high-level ATC-related entity parser, which extracts relevant information from the communication, i.e., callsigns and commands, and finally, (4) a speech synthesizer submodule that generates responses based on the high-level ATC entities previously extracted. Overall, we show that this system could pave the way toward developing a real proof-of-concept pseudo-pilot system. Hence, speeding up the training of ATCos while drastically reducing its overall cost.
Personal assistants, automatic speech recognizers and dialogue understanding systems are becoming more critical in our interconnected digital world. A clear example is air traffic control (ATC) communications. ATC aims at guiding aircraft and controlling the airspace in a safe and optimal manner. These voice-based dialogues are carried between an air traffic controller (ATCO) and pilots via very-high frequency radio channels. In order to incorporate these novel technologies into ATC (low-resource domain), large-scale annotated datasets are required to develop the data-driven AI systems. Two examples are automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU). In this paper, we introduce the ATCO2 corpus, a dataset that aims at fostering research on the challenging ATC field, which has lagged behind due to lack of annotated data. The ATCO2 corpus covers 1) data collection and pre-processing, 2) pseudo-annotations of speech data, and 3) extraction of ATC-related named entities. The ATCO2 corpus is split into three subsets. 1) ATCO2-test-set corpus contains 4 hours of ATC speech with manual transcripts and a subset with gold annotations for named-entity recognition (callsign, command, value). 2) The ATCO2-PL-set corpus consists of 5281 hours of unlabeled ATC data enriched with automatic transcripts from an in-domain speech recognizer, contextual information, speaker turn information, signal-to-noise ratio estimate and English language detection score per sample. Both available for purchase through ELDA at http://catalog.elra.info/en-us/repository/browse/ELRA-S0484. 3) The ATCO2-test-set-1h corpus is a one-hour subset from the original test set corpus, that we are offering for free at https://www.atco2.org/data. We expect the ATCO2 corpus will foster research on robust ASR and NLU not only in the field of ATC communications but also in the general research community.
In this paper, we describe our participation in the subtask 1 of CASE-2022, Event Causality Identification with Casual News Corpus. We address the Causal Relation Identification (CRI) task by exploiting a set of simple yet complementary techniques for fine-tuning language models (LMs) on a small number of annotated examples (i.e., a few-shot configuration). We follow a prompt-based prediction approach for fine-tuning LMs in which the CRI task is treated as a masked language modeling problem (MLM). This approach allows LMs natively pre-trained on MLM problems to directly generate textual responses to CRI-specific prompts. We compare the performance of this method against ensemble techniques trained on the entire dataset. Our best-performing submission was trained only with 256 instances per class, a small portion of the entire dataset, and yet was able to obtain the second-best precision (0.82), third-best accuracy (0.82), and an F1-score (0.85) very close to what was reported by the winner team (0.86).
* This manuscript has been submitted to the 5th Workshop on Challenges
and Applications of Automated Extraction of Socio-political Events from Text
(CASE @ EMNLP 2022)
In this paper, we describe our shared task submissions for Subtask 2 in CASE-2022, Event Causality Identification with Casual News Corpus. The challenge focused on the automatic detection of all cause-effect-signal spans present in the sentence from news-media. We detect cause-effect-signal spans in a sentence using T5 -- a pre-trained autoregressive language model. We iteratively identify all cause-effect-signal span triplets, always conditioning the prediction of the next triplet on the previously predicted ones. To predict the triplet itself, we consider different causal relationships such as cause$\rightarrow$effect$\rightarrow$signal. Each triplet component is generated via a language model conditioned on the sentence, the previous parts of the current triplet, and previously predicted triplets. Despite training on an extremely small dataset of 160 samples, our approach achieved competitive performance, being placed second in the competition. Furthermore, we show that assuming either cause$\rightarrow$effect or effect$\rightarrow$cause order achieves similar results. Our code and model predictions will be released online.
We present Claim-Dissector: a novel latent variable model for fact-checking and fact-analysis, which given a claim and a set of retrieved provenances allows learning jointly: (i) what are the relevant provenances to this claim (ii) what is the veracity of this claim. We propose to disentangle the per-provenance relevance probability and its contribution to the final veracity probability in an interpretable way - the final veracity probability is proportional to a linear ensemble of per-provenance relevance probabilities. This way, it can be clearly identified the relevance of which sources contributes to what extent towards the final probability. We show that our system achieves state-of-the-art results on FEVER dataset comparable to two-stage systems typically used in traditional fact-checking pipelines, while it often uses significantly less parameters and computation. Our analysis shows that proposed approach further allows to learn not just which provenances are relevant, but also which provenances lead to supporting and which toward denying the claim, without direct supervision. This not only adds interpretability, but also allows to detect claims with conflicting evidence automatically. Furthermore, we study whether our model can learn fine-grained relevance cues while using coarse-grained supervision. We show that our model can achieve competitive sentence-recall while using only paragraph-level relevance supervision. Finally, traversing towards the finest granularity of relevance, we show that our framework is capable of identifying relevance at the token-level. To do this, we present a new benchmark focusing on token-level interpretability - humans annotate tokens in relevant provenances they considered essential when making their judgement. Then we measure how similar are these annotations to tokens our model is focusing on. Our code, and dataset will be released online.