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"speech": models, code, and papers

Transfer learning from High-Resource to Low-Resource Language Improves Speech Affect Recognition Classification Accuracy

Mar 04, 2021
Sara Durrani, Umair Arshad

Speech Affect Recognition is a problem of extracting emotional affects from audio data. Low resource languages corpora are rear and affect recognition is a difficult task in cross-corpus settings. We present an approach in which the model is trained on high resource language and fine-tune to recognize affects in low resource language. We train the model in same corpus setting on SAVEE, EMOVO, Urdu, and IEMOCAP by achieving baseline accuracy of 60.45, 68.05, 80.34, and 56.58 percent respectively. For capturing the diversity of affects in languages cross-corpus evaluations are discussed in detail. We find that accuracy improves by adding the domain target data into the training data. Finally, we show that performance is improved for low resource language speech affect recognition by achieving the UAR OF 69.32 and 68.2 for Urdu and Italian speech affects.


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Breeding Gender-aware Direct Speech Translation Systems

Dec 09, 2020
Marco Gaido, Beatrice Savoldi, Luisa Bentivogli, Matteo Negri, Marco Turchi

In automatic speech translation (ST), traditional cascade approaches involving separate transcription and translation steps are giving ground to increasingly competitive and more robust direct solutions. In particular, by translating speech audio data without intermediate transcription, direct ST models are able to leverage and preserve essential information present in the input (e.g. speaker's vocal characteristics) that is otherwise lost in the cascade framework. Although such ability proved to be useful for gender translation, direct ST is nonetheless affected by gender bias just like its cascade counterpart, as well as machine translation and numerous other natural language processing applications. Moreover, direct ST systems that exclusively rely on vocal biometric features as a gender cue can be unsuitable and potentially harmful for certain users. Going beyond speech signals, in this paper we compare different approaches to inform direct ST models about the speaker's gender and test their ability to handle gender translation from English into Italian and French. To this aim, we manually annotated large datasets with speakers' gender information and used them for experiments reflecting different possible real-world scenarios. Our results show that gender-aware direct ST solutions can significantly outperform strong - but gender-unaware - direct ST models. In particular, the translation of gender-marked words can increase up to 30 points in accuracy while preserving overall translation quality.

* In Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Dec 2020, 3951-3964. Online 
* Outstanding paper at COLING 2020 

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A Comparison of Deep Learning MOS Predictors for Speech Synthesis Quality

Apr 05, 2022
Alessandro Ragano, Emmanouil Benetos, Michael Chinen, Helard B. Martinez, Chandan K. A. Reddy, Jan Skoglund, Andrew Hines

This paper introduces a comparison of deep learning-based techniques for the MOS prediction task of synthesised speech in the Interspeech VoiceMOS challenge. Using the data from the main track of the VoiceMOS challenge we explore both existing predictors and propose new ones. We evaluate two groups of models: NISQA-based models and techniques based on fine-tuning the self-supervised learning (SSL) model wav2vec2_base. Our findings show that a simplified version of NISQA with 40% fewer parameters achieves results close to the original NISQA architecture on both utterance-level and system-level performances. Pre-training NISQA with the NISQA corpus improves utterance-level performance but shows no benefit on the system-level performance. Also, the NISQA-based models perform close to LDNet and MOSANet, 2 out of 3 baselines of the challenge. Fine-tuning wav2vec2_base shows superior performance than the NISQA-based models. We explore the mismatch between natural and synthetic speech and discovered that the performance of the SSL model drops consistently when fine-tuned on natural speech samples. We show that adding CNN features with the SSL model does not improve the baseline performance. Finally, we show that the system type has an impact on the predictions of the non-SSL models.

* Submitted to INTERSPEECH 2022 

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Tight Integrated End-to-End Training for Cascaded Speech Translation

Nov 24, 2020
Parnia Bahar, Tobias Bieschke, Ralf Schlüter, Hermann Ney

A cascaded speech translation model relies on discrete and non-differentiable transcription, which provides a supervision signal from the source side and helps the transformation between source speech and target text. Such modeling suffers from error propagation between ASR and MT models. Direct speech translation is an alternative method to avoid error propagation; however, its performance is often behind the cascade system. To use an intermediate representation and preserve the end-to-end trainability, previous studies have proposed using two-stage models by passing the hidden vectors of the recognizer into the decoder of the MT model and ignoring the MT encoder. This work explores the feasibility of collapsing the entire cascade components into a single end-to-end trainable model by optimizing all parameters of ASR and MT models jointly without ignoring any learned parameters. It is a tightly integrated method that passes renormalized source word posterior distributions as a soft decision instead of one-hot vectors and enables backpropagation. Therefore, it provides both transcriptions and translations and achieves strong consistency between them. Our experiments on four tasks with different data scenarios show that the model outperforms cascade models up to 1.8% in BLEU and 2.0% in TER and is superior compared to direct models.

* 8 pages, accepted at SLT2021 

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Affective Burst Detection from Speech using Kernel-fusion Dilated Convolutional Neural Networks

Oct 08, 2021
Berkay Kopru, Engin Erzin

As speech-interfaces are getting richer and widespread, speech emotion recognition promises more attractive applications. In the continuous emotion recognition (CER) problem, tracking changes across affective states is an important and desired capability. Although CER studies widely use correlation metrics in evaluations, these metrics do not always capture all the high-intensity changes in the affective domain. In this paper, we define a novel affective burst detection problem to accurately capture high-intensity changes of the affective attributes. For this problem, we formulate a two-class classification approach to isolate affective burst regions over the affective state contour. The proposed classifier is a kernel-fusion dilated convolutional neural network (KFDCNN) architecture driven by speech spectral features to segment the affective attribute contour into idle and burst sections. Experimental evaluations are performed on the RECOLA and CreativeIT datasets. The proposed KFDCNN is observed to outperform baseline feedforward neural networks on both datasets.


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Are words easier to learn from infant- than adult-directed speech? A quantitative corpus-based investigation

Dec 23, 2017
Adriana Guevara-Rukoz, Alejandrina Cristia, Bogdan Ludusan, Roland Thiollière, Andrew Martin, Reiko Mazuka, Emmanuel Dupoux

We investigate whether infant-directed speech (IDS) could facilitate word form learning when compared to adult-directed speech (ADS). To study this, we examine the distribution of word forms at two levels, acoustic and phonological, using a large database of spontaneous speech in Japanese. At the acoustic level we show that, as has been documented before for phonemes, the realizations of words are more variable and less discriminable in IDS than in ADS. At the phonological level, we find an effect in the opposite direction: the IDS lexicon contains more distinctive words (such as onomatopoeias) than the ADS counterpart. Combining the acoustic and phonological metrics together in a global discriminability score reveals that the bigger separation of lexical categories in the phonological space does not compensate for the opposite effect observed at the acoustic level. As a result, IDS word forms are still globally less discriminable than ADS word forms, even though the effect is numerically small. We discuss the implication of these findings for the view that the functional role of IDS is to improve language learnability.

* Draft 

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Efficient Speech Emotion Recognition Using Multi-Scale CNN and Attention

Jun 08, 2021
Zixuan Peng, Yu Lu, Shengfeng Pan, Yunfeng Liu

Emotion recognition from speech is a challenging task. Re-cent advances in deep learning have led bi-directional recur-rent neural network (Bi-RNN) and attention mechanism as astandard method for speech emotion recognition, extractingand attending multi-modal features - audio and text, and thenfusing them for downstream emotion classification tasks. Inthis paper, we propose a simple yet efficient neural networkarchitecture to exploit both acoustic and lexical informationfrom speech. The proposed framework using multi-scale con-volutional layers (MSCNN) to obtain both audio and text hid-den representations. Then, a statistical pooling unit (SPU)is used to further extract the features in each modality. Be-sides, an attention module can be built on top of the MSCNN-SPU (audio) and MSCNN (text) to further improve the perfor-mance. Extensive experiments show that the proposed modeloutperforms previous state-of-the-art methods on IEMOCAPdataset with four emotion categories (i.e., angry, happy, sadand neutral) in both weighted accuracy (WA) and unweightedaccuracy (UA), with an improvement of 5.0% and 5.2% respectively under the ASR setting.

* ICASSP,2021 pp. 3020-3024 
* First two authors contributed equally.Accepted by ICASSP 2021 

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A Curriculum Learning Method for Improved Noise Robustness in Automatic Speech Recognition

Sep 16, 2016
Stefan Braun, Daniel Neil, Shih-Chii Liu

The performance of automatic speech recognition systems under noisy environments still leaves room for improvement. Speech enhancement or feature enhancement techniques for increasing noise robustness of these systems usually add components to the recognition system that need careful optimization. In this work, we propose the use of a relatively simple curriculum training strategy called accordion annealing (ACCAN). It uses a multi-stage training schedule where samples at signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) values as low as 0dB are first added and samples at increasing higher SNR values are gradually added up to an SNR value of 50dB. We also use a method called per-epoch noise mixing (PEM) that generates noisy training samples online during training and thus enables dynamically changing the SNR of our training data. Both the ACCAN and the PEM methods are evaluated on a end-to-end speech recognition pipeline on the Wall Street Journal corpus. ACCAN decreases the average word error rate (WER) on the 20dB to -10dB SNR range by up to 31.4% when compared to a conventional multi-condition training method.


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DPCRN: Dual-Path Convolution Recurrent Network for Single Channel Speech Enhancement

Jul 12, 2021
Xiaohuai Le, Hongsheng Chen, Kai Chen, Jing Lu

The dual-path RNN (DPRNN) was proposed to more effectively model extremely long sequences for speech separation in the time domain. By splitting long sequences to smaller chunks and applying intra-chunk and inter-chunk RNNs, the DPRNN reached promising performance in speech separation with a limited model size. In this paper, we combine the DPRNN module with Convolution Recurrent Network (CRN) and design a model called Dual-Path Convolution Recurrent Network (DPCRN) for speech enhancement in the time-frequency domain. We replace the RNNs in the CRN with DPRNN modules, where the intra-chunk RNNs are used to model the spectrum pattern in a single frame and the inter-chunk RNNs are used to model the dependence between consecutive frames. With only 0.8M parameters, the submitted DPCRN model achieves an overall mean opinion score (MOS) of 3.57 in the wide band scenario track of the Interspeech 2021 Deep Noise Suppression (DNS) challenge. Evaluations on some other test sets also show the efficacy of our model.

* 5 pages, 1 figure, accepted by Interspeech 2021 

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A Multi-Resolution Front-End for End-to-End Speech Anti-Spoofing

Oct 11, 2021
Wei Liu, Meng Sun, Xiongwei Zhang, Hugo Van hamme, Thomas Fang Zheng

The choice of an optimal time-frequency resolution is usually a difficult but important step in tasks involving speech signal classification, e.g., speech anti-spoofing. The variations of the performance with different choices of timefrequency resolutions can be as large as those with different model architectures, which makes it difficult to judge what the improvement actually comes from when a new network architecture is invented and introduced as the classifier. In this paper, we propose a multi-resolution front-end for feature extraction in an end-to-end classification framework. Optimal weighted combinations of multiple time-frequency resolutions will be learned automatically given the objective of a classification task. Features extracted with different time-frequency resolutions are weighted and concatenated as inputs to the successive networks, where the weights are predicted by a learnable neural network inspired by the weighting block in squeeze-and-excitation networks (SENet). Furthermore, the refinement of the chosen timefrequency resolutions is investigated by pruning the ones with relatively low importance, which reduces the complexity and size of the model. The proposed method is evaluated on the tasks of speech anti-spoofing in ASVSpoof 2019 and its superiority has been justified by comparing with similar baselines.

* submitted to ICASSP 2022 

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