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"speech": models, code, and papers

Modeling State-Conditional Observation Distribution using Weighted Stereo Samples for Factorial Speech Processing Models

Oct 05, 2016
Mahdi Khademian, Mohammad Mehdi Homayounpour

This paper investigates the effectiveness of factorial speech processing models in noise-robust automatic speech recognition tasks. For this purpose, the paper proposes an idealistic approach for modeling state-conditional observation distribution of factorial models based on weighted stereo samples. This approach is an extension to previous single pass retraining for ideal model compensation which is extended here to support multiple audio sources. Non-stationary noises can be considered as one of these audio sources with multiple states. Experiments of this paper over the set A of the Aurora 2 dataset show that recognition performance can be improved by this consideration. The improvement is significant in low signal to noise energy conditions, up to 4% absolute word recognition accuracy. In addition to the power of the proposed method in accurate representation of state-conditional observation distribution, it has an important advantage over previous methods by providing the opportunity to independently select feature spaces for both source and corrupted features. This opens a new window for seeking better feature spaces appropriate for noisy speech, independent from clean speech features.

* Updated version of the first submission. Several clarifications are added to previous version. One experiment is added to the experiments, Circuits Syst Signal Process, Apr. 2016 

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An Investigation of End-to-End Multichannel Speech Recognition for Reverberant and Mismatch Conditions

Apr 28, 2019
Aswin Shanmugam Subramanian, Xiaofei Wang, Shinji Watanabe, Toru Taniguchi, Dung Tran, Yuya Fujita

Sequence-to-sequence (S2S) modeling is becoming a popular paradigm for automatic speech recognition (ASR) because of its ability to jointly optimize all the conventional ASR components in an end-to-end (E2E) fashion. This report investigates the ability of E2E ASR from standard close-talk to far-field applications by encompassing entire multichannel speech enhancement and ASR components within the S2S model. There have been previous studies on jointly optimizing neural beamforming alongside E2E ASR for denoising. It is clear from both recent challenge outcomes and successful products that far-field systems would be incomplete without solving both denoising and dereverberation simultaneously. This report uses a recently developed architecture for far-field ASR by composing neural extensions of dereverberation and beamforming modules with the S2S ASR module as a single differentiable neural network and also clearly defining the role of each subnetwork. The original implementation of this architecture was successfully applied to the noisy speech recognition task (CHiME-4), while we applied this implementation to noisy reverberant tasks (DIRHA and REVERB). Our investigation shows that the method achieves better performance than conventional pipeline methods on the DIRHA English dataset and comparable performance on the REVERB dataset. It also has additional advantages of being neither iterative nor requiring parallel noisy and clean speech data.


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Moving fast and slow: Analysis of representations and post-processing in speech-driven automatic gesture generation

Jul 16, 2020
Taras Kucherenko, Dai Hasegawa, Naoshi Kaneko, Gustav Eje Henter, Hedvig Kjellström

This paper presents a novel framework for speech-driven gesture production, applicable to virtual agents to enhance human-computer interaction. Specifically, we extend recent deep-learning-based, data-driven methods for speech-driven gesture generation by incorporating representation learning. Our model takes speech as input and produces gestures as output, in the form of a sequence of 3D coordinates. We provide an analysis of different representations for the input (speech) and the output (motion) of the network by both objective and subjective evaluations. We also analyse the importance of smoothing of the produced motion. Our results indicated that the proposed method improved on our baseline in terms of objective measures. For example, it better captured the motion dynamics and better matched the motion-speed distribution. Moreover, we performed user studies on two different datasets. The studies confirmed that our proposed method is perceived as more natural than the baseline, although the difference in the studies was eliminated by appropriate post-processing: hip-centering and smoothing. We conclude that it is important to take both feature representation, model architecture and post-processing into account when designing an automatic gesture-production method.

* Extension of our IVA'19 paper. Submitted to the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1903.03369 

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Voice Transformer Network: Sequence-to-Sequence Voice Conversion Using Transformer with Text-to-Speech Pretraining

Dec 14, 2019
Wen-Chin Huang, Tomoki Hayashi, Yi-Chiao Wu, Hirokazu Kameoka, Tomoki Toda

We introduce a novel sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) voice conversion (VC) model based on the Transformer architecture with text-to-speech (TTS) pretraining. Seq2seq VC models are attractive owing to their ability to convert prosody. While seq2seq models based on recurrent neural networks (RNNs) and convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been successfully applied to VC, the use of the Transformer network, which has shown promising results in various speech processing tasks, has not yet been investigated. Nonetheless, their data-hungry property and the mispronunciation of converted speech make seq2seq models far from practical. To this end, we propose a simple yet effective pretraining technique to transfer knowledge from learned TTS models, which benefit from large-scale, easily accessible TTS corpora. VC models initialized with such pretrained model parameters are able to generate effective hidden representations for high-fidelity, highly intelligible converted speech. Experimental results show that such a pretraining scheme can facilitate data-efficient training and outperform an RNN-based seq2seq VC model in terms of intelligibility, naturalness, and similarity.

* Preprint. Work in progress 

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Noise-Robust ASR for the third 'CHiME' Challenge Exploiting Time-Frequency Masking based Multi-Channel Speech Enhancement and Recurrent Neural Network

Sep 24, 2015
Zaihu Pang, Fengyun Zhu

In this paper, the Lingban entry to the third 'CHiME' speech separation and recognition challenge is presented. A time-frequency masking based speech enhancement front-end is proposed to suppress the environmental noise utilizing multi-channel coherence and spatial cues. The state-of-the-art speech recognition techniques, namely recurrent neural network based acoustic and language modeling, state space minimum Bayes risk based discriminative acoustic modeling, and i-vector based acoustic condition modeling, are carefully integrated into the speech recognition back-end. To further improve the system performance by fully exploiting the advantages of different technologies, the final recognition results are obtained by lattice combination and rescoring. Evaluations carried out on the official dataset prove the effectiveness of the proposed systems. Comparing with the best baseline result, the proposed system obtains consistent improvements with over 57% relative word error rate reduction on the real-data test set.

* The 3rd 'CHiME' Speech Separation and Recognition Challenge, 5 pages, 1 figure 

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AccentDB: A Database of Non-Native English Accents to Assist Neural Speech Recognition

May 16, 2020
Afroz Ahamad, Ankit Anand, Pranesh Bhargava

Modern Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology has evolved to identify the speech spoken by native speakers of a language very well. However, identification of the speech spoken by non-native speakers continues to be a major challenge for it. In this work, we first spell out the key requirements for creating a well-curated database of speech samples in non-native accents for training and testing robust ASR systems. We then introduce AccentDB, one such database that contains samples of 4 Indian-English accents collected by us, and a compilation of samples from 4 native-English, and a metropolitan Indian-English accent. We also present an analysis on separability of the collected accent data. Further, we present several accent classification models and evaluate them thoroughly against human-labelled accent classes. We test the generalization of our classifier models in a variety of setups of seen and unseen data. Finally, we introduce the task of accent neutralization of non-native accents to native accents using autoencoder models with task-specific architectures. Thus, our work aims to aid ASR systems at every stage of development with a database for training, classification models for feature augmentation, and neutralization systems for acoustic transformations of non-native accents of English.

* Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference - LREC, 2020 

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Multi-view Dimensionality Reduction for Dialect Identification of Arabic Broadcast Speech

Sep 19, 2016
Sameer Khurana, Ahmed Ali, Steve Renals

In this work, we present a new Vector Space Model (VSM) of speech utterances for the task of spoken dialect identification. Generally, DID systems are built using two sets of features that are extracted from speech utterances; acoustic and phonetic. The acoustic and phonetic features are used to form vector representations of speech utterances in an attempt to encode information about the spoken dialects. The Phonotactic and Acoustic VSMs, thus formed, are used for the task of DID. The aim of this paper is to construct a single VSM that encodes information about spoken dialects from both the Phonotactic and Acoustic VSMs. Given the two views of the data, we make use of a well known multi-view dimensionality reduction technique known as Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA), to form a single vector representation for each speech utterance that encodes dialect specific discriminative information from both the phonetic and acoustic representations. We refer to this approach as feature space combination approach and show that our CCA based feature vector representation performs better on the Arabic DID task than the phonetic and acoustic feature representations used alone. We also present the feature space combination approach as a viable alternative to the model based combination approach, where two DID systems are built using the two VSMs (Phonotactic and Acoustic) and the final prediction score is the output score combination from the two systems.


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Conditional independence for pretext task selection in Self-supervised speech representation learning

Apr 15, 2021
Salah Zaiem, Titouan Parcollet, Slim Essid

Through solving pretext tasks, self-supervised learning (SSL) leverages unlabeled data to extract useful latent representations replacing traditional input features in the downstream task. A common pretext task consists in pretraining a SSL model on pseudo-labels derived from the original signal. This technique is particularly relevant for speech data where various meaningful signal processing features may serve as pseudo-labels. However, the process of selecting pseudo-labels, for speech or other types of data, remains mostly unexplored and currently relies on observing the results on the final downstream task. Nevertheless, this methodology is not sustainable at scale due to substantial computational (hence carbon) costs. Thus, this paper introduces a practical and theoretical framework to select relevant pseudo-labels with respect to a given downstream task. More precisely, we propose a functional estimator of the pseudo-label utility grounded in the conditional independence theory, which does not require any training. The experiments conducted on speaker recognition and automatic speech recognition validate our estimator, showing a significant correlation between the performance observed on the downstream task and the utility estimates obtained with our approach, facilitating the prospection of relevant pseudo-labels for self-supervised speech representation learning.

* 5 pages, submitted to Interspeech2021 

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SkiM: Skipping Memory LSTM for Low-Latency Real-Time Continuous Speech Separation

Feb 10, 2022
Chenda Li, Lei Yang, Weiqin Wang, Yanmin Qian

Continuous speech separation for meeting pre-processing has recently become a focused research topic. Compared to the data in utterance-level speech separation, the meeting-style audio stream lasts longer, has an uncertain number of speakers. We adopt the time-domain speech separation method and the recently proposed Graph-PIT to build a super low-latency online speech separation model, which is very important for the real application. The low-latency time-domain encoder with a small stride leads to an extremely long feature sequence. We proposed a simple yet efficient model named Skipping Memory (SkiM) for the long sequence modeling. Experimental results show that SkiM achieves on par or even better separation performance than DPRNN. Meanwhile, the computational cost of SkiM is reduced by 75% compared to DPRNN. The strong long sequence modeling capability and low computational cost make SkiM a suitable model for online CSS applications. Our fastest real-time model gets 17.1 dB signal-to-distortion (SDR) improvement with less than 1-millisecond latency in the simulated meeting-style evaluation.

* Accepted by ICASSP 2022 

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Improving Vietnamese Named Entity Recognition from Speech Using Word Capitalization and Punctuation Recovery Models

Oct 01, 2020
Thai Binh Nguyen, Quang Minh Nguyen, Thi Thu Hien Nguyen, Quoc Truong Do, Chi Mai Luong

Studies on the Named Entity Recognition (NER) task have shown outstanding results that reach human parity on input texts with correct text formattings, such as with proper punctuation and capitalization. However, such conditions are not available in applications where the input is speech, because the text is generated from a speech recognition system (ASR), and that the system does not consider the text formatting. In this paper, we (1) presented the first Vietnamese speech dataset for NER task, and (2) the first pre-trained public large-scale monolingual language model for Vietnamese that achieved the new state-of-the-art for the Vietnamese NER task by 1.3% absolute F1 score comparing to the latest study. And finally, (3) we proposed a new pipeline for NER task from speech that overcomes the text formatting problem by introducing a text capitalization and punctuation recovery model (CaPu) into the pipeline. The model takes input text from an ASR system and performs two tasks at the same time, producing proper text formatting that helps to improve NER performance. Experimental results indicated that the CaPu model helps to improve by nearly 4% of F1-score.

* Accepted in Interspeech 2020 

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