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"speech recognition": models, code, and papers

Significance of Data Augmentation for Improving Cleft Lip and Palate Speech Recognition

Oct 02, 2021
Protima Nomo Sudro, Rohan Kumar Das, Rohit Sinha, S. R. Mahadeva Prasanna

The automatic recognition of pathological speech, particularly from children with any articulatory impairment, is a challenging task due to various reasons. The lack of available domain specific data is one such obstacle that hinders its usage for different speech-based applications targeting pathological speakers. In line with the challenge, in this work, we investigate a few data augmentation techniques to simulate training data for improving the children speech recognition considering the case of cleft lip and palate (CLP) speech. The augmentation techniques explored in this study, include vocal tract length perturbation (VTLP), reverberation, speaking rate, pitch modification, and speech feature modification using cycle consistent adversarial networks (CycleGAN). Our study finds that the data augmentation methods significantly improve the CLP speech recognition performance, which is more evident when we used feature modification using CycleGAN, VTLP and reverberation based methods. More specifically, the results from this study show that our systems produce an improved phone error rate compared to the systems without data augmentation.

  
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Analyzing Large Receptive Field Convolutional Networks for Distant Speech Recognition

Oct 15, 2019
Salar Jafarlou, Soheil Khorram, Vinay Kothapally, John H. L. Hansen

Despite significant efforts over the last few years to build a robust automatic speech recognition (ASR) system for different acoustic settings, the performance of the current state-of-the-art technologies significantly degrades in noisy reverberant environments. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have been successfully used to achieve substantial improvements in many speech processing applications including distant speech recognition (DSR). However, standard CNN architectures were not efficient in capturing long-term speech dynamics, which are essential in the design of a robust DSR system. In the present study, we address this issue by investigating variants of large receptive field CNNs (LRF-CNNs) which include deeply recursive networks, dilated convolutional neural networks, and stacked hourglass networks. To compare the efficacy of the aforementioned architectures with the standard CNN for Wall Street Journal (WSJ) corpus, we use a hybrid DNN-HMM based speech recognition system. We extend the study to evaluate the system performances for distant speech simulated using realistic room impulse responses (RIRs). Our experiments show that with fixed number of parameters across all architectures, the large receptive field networks show consistent improvements over the standard CNNs for distant speech. Amongst the explored LRF-CNNs, stacked hourglass network has shown improvements with a 8.9% relative reduction in word error rate (WER) and 10.7% relative improvement in frame accuracy compared to the standard CNNs for distant simulated speech signals.

* ASRU 2019 
  
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Multi-layer Attention Mechanism for Speech Keyword Recognition

Jul 10, 2019
Ruisen Luo, Tianran Sun, Chen Wang, Miao Du, Zuodong Tang, Kai Zhou, Xiaofeng Gong, Xiaomei Yang

As an important part of speech recognition technology, automatic speech keyword recognition has been intensively studied in recent years. Such technology becomes especially pivotal under situations with limited infrastructures and computational resources, such as voice command recognition in vehicles and robot interaction. At present, the mainstream methods in automatic speech keyword recognition are based on long short-term memory (LSTM) networks with attention mechanism. However, due to inevitable information losses for the LSTM layer caused during feature extraction, the calculated attention weights are biased. In this paper, a novel approach, namely Multi-layer Attention Mechanism, is proposed to handle the inaccurate attention weights problem. The key idea is that, in addition to the conventional attention mechanism, information of layers prior to feature extraction and LSTM are introduced into attention weights calculations. Therefore, the attention weights are more accurate because the overall model can have more precise and focused areas. We conduct a comprehensive comparison and analysis on the keyword spotting performances on convolution neural network, bi-directional LSTM cyclic neural network, and cyclic neural network with the proposed attention mechanism on Google Speech Command datasets V2 datasets. Experimental results indicate favorable results for the proposed method and demonstrate the validity of the proposed method. The proposed multi-layer attention methods can be useful for other researches related to object spotting.

  
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Speaker Adaptation Using Spectro-Temporal Deep Features for Dysarthric and Elderly Speech Recognition

Mar 17, 2022
Mengzhe Geng, Xurong Xie, Zi Ye, Tianzi Wang, Guinan Li, Shujie Hu, Xunying Liu, Helen Meng

Despite the rapid progress of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technologies targeting normal speech in recent decades, accurate recognition of dysarthric and elderly speech remains highly challenging tasks to date. Sources of heterogeneity commonly found in normal speech including accent or gender, when further compounded with the variability over age and speech pathology severity level, create large diversity among speakers. To this end, speaker adaptation techniques play a key role in personalization of ASR systems for such users. Motivated by the spectro-temporal level differences between dysarthric, elderly and normal speech that systematically manifest in articulatory imprecision, decreased volume and clarity, slower speaking rates and increased dysfluencies, novel spectrotemporal subspace basis deep embedding features derived using SVD speech spectrum decomposition are proposed in this paper to facilitate auxiliary feature based speaker adaptation of state-of-the-art hybrid DNN/TDNN and end-to-end Conformer speech recognition systems. Experiments were conducted on four tasks: the English UASpeech and TORGO dysarthric speech corpora; the English DementiaBank Pitt and Cantonese JCCOCC MoCA elderly speech datasets. The proposed spectro-temporal deep feature adapted systems outperformed baseline i-Vector and xVector adaptation by up to 2.63% absolute (8.63% relative) reduction in word error rate (WER). Consistent performance improvements were retained after model based speaker adaptation using learning hidden unit contributions (LHUC) was further applied. The best speaker adapted system using the proposed spectral basis embedding features produced the lowest published WER of 25.05% on the UASpeech test set of 16 dysarthric speakers.

* In submission to IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing 
  
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BridgeNets: Student-Teacher Transfer Learning Based on Recursive Neural Networks and its Application to Distant Speech Recognition

Feb 21, 2018
Jaeyoung Kim, Mostafa El-Khamy, Jungwon Lee

Despite the remarkable progress achieved on automatic speech recognition, recognizing far-field speeches mixed with various noise sources is still a challenging task. In this paper, we introduce novel student-teacher transfer learning, BridgeNet which can provide a solution to improve distant speech recognition. There are two key features in BridgeNet. First, BridgeNet extends traditional student-teacher frameworks by providing multiple hints from a teacher network. Hints are not limited to the soft labels from a teacher network. Teacher's intermediate feature representations can better guide a student network to learn how to denoise or dereverberate noisy input. Second, the proposed recursive architecture in the BridgeNet can iteratively improve denoising and recognition performance. The experimental results of BridgeNet showed significant improvements in tackling the distant speech recognition problem, where it achieved up to 13.24% relative WER reductions on AMI corpus compared to a baseline neural network without teacher's hints.

* Accepted to 2018 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2018) 
  
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Separator-Transducer-Segmenter: Streaming Recognition and Segmentation of Multi-party Speech

May 10, 2022
Ilya Sklyar, Anna Piunova, Christian Osendorfer

Streaming recognition and segmentation of multi-party conversations with overlapping speech is crucial for the next generation of voice assistant applications. In this work we address its challenges discovered in the previous work on multi-turn recurrent neural network transducer (MT-RNN-T) with a novel approach, separator-transducer-segmenter (STS), that enables tighter integration of speech separation, recognition and segmentation in a single model. First, we propose a new segmentation modeling strategy through start-of-turn and end-of-turn tokens that improves segmentation without recognition accuracy degradation. Second, we further improve both speech recognition and segmentation accuracy through an emission regularization method, FastEmit, and multi-task training with speech activity information as an additional training signal. Third, we experiment with end-of-turn emission latency penalty to improve end-point detection for each speaker turn. Finally, we establish a novel framework for segmentation analysis of multi-party conversations through emission latency metrics. With our best model, we report 4.6% abs. turn counting accuracy improvement and 17% rel. word error rate (WER) improvement on LibriCSS dataset compared to the previously published work.

* Submitted to InterSpeech 2022 
  
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A comparable study of modeling units for end-to-end Mandarin speech recognition

May 14, 2018
Wei Zou, Dongwei Jiang, Shuaijiang Zhao, Xiangang Li

End-To-End speech recognition have become increasingly popular in mandarin speech recognition and achieved delightful performance. Mandarin is a tonal language which is different from English and requires special treatment for the acoustic modeling units. There have been several different kinds of modeling units for mandarin such as phoneme, syllable and Chinese character. In this work, we explore two major end-to-end models: connectionist temporal classification (CTC) model and attention based encoder-decoder model for mandarin speech recognition. We compare the performance of three different scaled modeling units: context dependent phoneme(CDP), syllable with tone and Chinese character. We find that all types of modeling units can achieve approximate character error rate (CER) in CTC model and the performance of Chinese character attention model is better than syllable attention model. Furthermore, we find that Chinese character is a reasonable unit for mandarin speech recognition. On DidiCallcenter task, Chinese character attention model achieves a CER of 5.68% and CTC model gets a CER of 7.29%, on the other DidiReading task, CER are 4.89% and 5.79%, respectively. Moreover, attention model achieves a better performance than CTC model on both datasets.

* 5 pages 
  
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Toward Cross-Domain Speech Recognition with End-to-End Models

Mar 09, 2020
Thai-Son Nguyen, Sebastian Stüker, Alex Waibel

In the area of multi-domain speech recognition, research in the past focused on hybrid acoustic models to build cross-domain and domain-invariant speech recognition systems. In this paper, we empirically examine the difference in behavior between hybrid acoustic models and neural end-to-end systems when mixing acoustic training data from several domains. For these experiments we composed a multi-domain dataset from public sources, with the different domains in the corpus covering a wide variety of topics and acoustic conditions such as telephone conversations, lectures, read speech and broadcast news. We show that for the hybrid models, supplying additional training data from other domains with mismatched acoustic conditions does not increase the performance on specific domains. However, our end-to-end models optimized with sequence-based criterion generalize better than the hybrid models on diverse domains. In term of word-error-rate performance, our experimental acoustic-to-word and attention-based models trained on multi-domain dataset reach the performance of domain-specific long short-term memory (LSTM) hybrid models, thus resulting in multi-domain speech recognition systems that do not suffer in performance over domain specific ones. Moreover, the use of neural end-to-end models eliminates the need of domain-adapted language models during recognition, which is a great advantage when the input domain is unknown.

* Presented in Life-Long Learning for Spoken Language Systems Workshop - ASRU 2019 
  
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