Modern smart glasses leverage advanced audio sensing and machine learning technologies to offer real-time transcribing and captioning services, considerably enriching human experiences in daily communications. However, such systems frequently encounter challenges related to environmental noises, resulting in degradation to speech recognition and speaker change detection. To improve voice quality, this work investigates directional source separation using the multi-microphone array. We first explore multiple beamformers to assist source separation modeling by strengthening the directional properties of speech signals. In addition to relying on predetermined beamformers, we investigate neural beamforming in multi-channel source separation, demonstrating that automatic learning directional characteristics effectively improves separation quality. We further compare the ASR performance leveraging separated outputs to noisy inputs. Our results show that directional source separation benefits ASR for the wearer but not for the conversation partner. Lastly, we perform the joint training of the directional source separation and ASR model, achieving the best overall ASR performance.
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) models need to be optimized for specific hardware before they can be deployed on devices. This can be done by tuning the model's hyperparameters or exploring variations in its architecture. Re-training and re-validating models after making these changes can be a resource-intensive task. This paper presents TODM (Train Once Deploy Many), a new approach to efficiently train many sizes of hardware-friendly on-device ASR models with comparable GPU-hours to that of a single training job. TODM leverages insights from prior work on Supernet, where Recurrent Neural Network Transducer (RNN-T) models share weights within a Supernet. It reduces layer sizes and widths of the Supernet to obtain subnetworks, making them smaller models suitable for all hardware types. We introduce a novel combination of three techniques to improve the outcomes of the TODM Supernet: adaptive dropouts, an in-place Alpha-divergence knowledge distillation, and the use of ScaledAdam optimizer. We validate our approach by comparing Supernet-trained versus individually tuned Multi-Head State Space Model (MH-SSM) RNN-T using LibriSpeech. Results demonstrate that our TODM Supernet either matches or surpasses the performance of manually tuned models by up to a relative of 3% better in word error rate (WER), while efficiently keeping the cost of training many models at a small constant.
This paper proposes a hardware-efficient architecture, Linearized Convolution Network (LiCo-Net) for keyword spotting. It is optimized specifically for low-power processor units like microcontrollers. ML operators exhibit heterogeneous efficiency profiles on power-efficient hardware. Given the exact theoretical computation cost, int8 operators are more computation-effective than float operators, and linear layers are often more efficient than other layers. The proposed LiCo-Net is a dual-phase system that uses the efficient int8 linear operators at the inference phase and applies streaming convolutions at the training phase to maintain a high model capacity. The experimental results show that LiCo-Net outperforms single-value decomposition filter (SVDF) on hardware efficiency with on-par detection performance. Compared to SVDF, LiCo-Net reduces cycles by 40% on HiFi4 DSP.
End-to-End deep learning has shown promising results for speech enhancement tasks, such as noise suppression, dereverberation, and speech separation. However, most state-of-the-art methods for echo cancellation are either classical DSP-based or hybrid DSP-ML algorithms. Components such as the delay estimator and adaptive linear filter are based on traditional signal processing concepts, and deep learning algorithms typically only serve to replace the non-linear residual echo suppressor. This paper introduces an end-to-end echo cancellation network with a streaming cross-attention alignment (SCA). Our proposed method can handle unaligned inputs without requiring external alignment and generate high-quality speech without echoes. At the same time, the end-to-end algorithm simplifies the current echo cancellation pipeline for time-variant echo path cases. We test our proposed method on the ICASSP2022 and Interspeech2021 Microsoft deep echo cancellation challenge evaluation dataset, where our method outperforms some of the other hybrid and end-to-end methods.
The unified streaming and non-streaming two-pass (U2) end-to-end model for speech recognition has shown great performance in terms of streaming capability, accuracy, real-time factor (RTF), and latency. In this paper, we present U2++, an enhanced version of U2 to further improve the accuracy. The core idea of U2++ is to use the forward and the backward information of the labeling sequences at the same time at training to learn richer information, and combine the forward and backward prediction at decoding to give more accurate recognition results. We also proposed a new data augmentation method called SpecSub to help the U2++ model to be more accurate and robust. Our experiments show that, compared with U2, U2++ shows faster convergence at training, better robustness to the decoding method, as well as consistent 5\% - 8\% word error rate reduction gain over U2. On the experiment of AISHELL-1, we achieve a 4.63\% character error rate (CER) with a non-streaming setup and 5.05\% with a streaming setup with 320ms latency by U2++. To the best of our knowledge, 5.05\% is the best-published streaming result on the AISHELL-1 test set.
In this paper, we present a new open source, production first and production ready end-to-end (E2E) speech recognition toolkit named WeNet. The main motivation of WeNet is to close the gap between the research and the production of E2E speech recognition models. WeNet provides an efficient way to ship ASR applications in several real-world scenarios, which is the main difference and advantage to other open source E2E speech recognition toolkits. This paper introduces WeNet from three aspects, including model architecture, framework design and performance metrics. Our experiments on AISHELL-1 using WeNet, not only give a promising character error rate (CER) on a unified streaming and non-streaming two pass (U2) E2E model but also show reasonable RTF and latency, both of these aspects are favored for production adoption. The toolkit is publicly available at https://github.com/mobvoi/wenet.
In this paper, we present a novel two-pass approach to unify streaming and non-streaming end-to-end (E2E) speech recognition in a single model. Our model adopts the hybrid CTC/attention architecture, in which the conformer layers in the encoder are modified. We propose a dynamic chunk-based attention strategy to allow arbitrary right context length. At inference time, the CTC decoder generates n-best hypotheses in a streaming way. The inference latency could be easily controlled by only changing the chunk size. The CTC hypotheses are then rescored by the attention decoder to get the final result. This efficient rescoring process causes very little sentence-level latency. Our experiments on the open 170-hour AISHELL-1 dataset show that, the proposed method can unify the streaming and non-streaming model simply and efficiently. On the AISHELL-1 test set, our unified model achieves 5.60% relative character error rate (CER) reduction in non-streaming ASR compared to a standard non-streaming transformer. The same model achieves 5.42% CER with 640ms latency in a streaming ASR system.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have dominated language modeling because of their superior performance over traditional N-gram based models. In many applications, a large Recurrent Neural Network language model (RNNLM) or an ensemble of several RNNLMs is used. These models have large memory footprints and require heavy computation. In this paper, we examine the effect of applying knowledge distillation in reducing the model size for RNNLMs. In addition, we propose a trust regularization method to improve the knowledge distillation training for RNNLMs. Using knowledge distillation with trust regularization, we reduce the parameter size to a third of that of the previously published best model while maintaining the state-of-the-art perplexity result on Penn Treebank data. In a speech recognition N-bestrescoring task, we reduce the RNNLM model size to 18.5% of the baseline system, with no degradation in word error rate(WER) performance on Wall Street Journal data set.
Visual object recognition under situations in which the direct line-of-sight is blocked, such as when it is occluded around the corner, is of practical importance in a wide range of applications. With coherent illumination, the light scattered from diffusive walls forms speckle patterns that contain information of the hidden object. It is possible to realize non-line-of-sight (NLOS) recognition with these speckle patterns. We introduce a novel approach based on speckle pattern recognition with deep neural network, which is simpler and more robust than other NLOS recognition methods. Simulations and experiments are performed to verify the feasibility and performance of this approach.