In this manuscript, the topic of multi-corpus Speech Emotion Recognition (SER) is approached from a deep transfer learning perspective. A large corpus of emotional speech data, EmoSet, is assembled from a number of existing SER corpora. In total, EmoSet contains 84181 audio recordings from 26 SER corpora with a total duration of over 65 hours. The corpus is then utilised to create a novel framework for multi-corpus speech emotion recognition, namely EmoNet. A combination of a deep ResNet architecture and residual adapters is transferred from the field of multi-domain visual recognition to multi-corpus SER on EmoSet. Compared against two suitable baselines and more traditional training and transfer settings for the ResNet, the residual adapter approach enables parameter efficient training of a multi-domain SER model on all 26 corpora. A shared model with only $3.5$ times the number of parameters of a model trained on a single database leads to increased performance for 21 of the 26 corpora in EmoSet. Measured by McNemar's test, these improvements are further significant for ten datasets at $p<0.05$ while there are just two corpora that see only significant decreases across the residual adapter transfer experiments. Finally, we make our EmoNet framework publicly available for users and developers at https://github.com/EIHW/EmoNet. EmoNet provides an extensive command line interface which is comprehensively documented and can be used in a variety of multi-corpus transfer learning settings.
Articulatory features are inherently invariant to acoustic signal distortion and have been successfully incorporated into automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems for normal speech. Their practical application to disordered speech recognition is often limited by the difficulty in collecting such specialist data from impaired speakers. This paper presents a cross-domain acoustic-to-articulatory (A2A) inversion approach that utilizes the parallel acoustic-articulatory data of the 15-hour TORGO corpus in model training before being cross-domain adapted to the 102.7-hour UASpeech corpus and to produce articulatory features. Mixture density networks based neural A2A inversion models were used. A cross-domain feature adaptation network was also used to reduce the acoustic mismatch between the TORGO and UASpeech data. On both tasks, incorporating the A2A generated articulatory features consistently outperformed the baseline hybrid DNN/TDNN, CTC and Conformer based end-to-end systems constructed using acoustic features only. The best multi-modal system incorporating video modality and the cross-domain articulatory features as well as data augmentation and learning hidden unit contributions (LHUC) speaker adaptation produced the lowest published word error rate (WER) of 24.82% on the 16 dysarthric speakers of the benchmark UASpeech task.
We propose a novel decentralized feature extraction approach in federated learning to address privacy-preservation issues for speech recognition. It is built upon a quantum convolutional neural network (QCNN) composed of a quantum circuit encoder for feature extraction, and a recurrent neural network (RNN) based end-to-end acoustic model (AM). To enhance model parameter protection in a decentralized architecture, an input speech is first up-streamed to a quantum computing server to extract Mel-spectrogram, and the corresponding convolutional features are encoded using a quantum circuit algorithm with random parameters. The encoded features are then down-streamed to the local RNN model for the final recognition. The proposed decentralized framework takes advantage of the quantum learning progress to secure models and to avoid privacy leakage attacks. Testing on the Google Speech Commands Dataset, the proposed QCNN encoder attains a competitive accuracy of 95.12\% in a decentralized model, which is better than the previous architectures using centralized RNN models with convolutional features. We also conduct an in-depth study of different quantum circuit encoder architectures to provide insights into designing QCNN-based feature extractors. Finally, neural saliency analyses demonstrate a high correlation between the proposed QCNN features, class activation maps, and the input Mel-spectrogram.
Automatic speech recognition (ASR) of single channel far-field recordings with an unknown number of speakers is traditionally tackled by cascaded modules. Recent research shows that end-to-end (E2E) multi-speaker ASR models can achieve superior recognition accuracy compared to modular systems. However, these models do not ensure real-time applicability due to their dependency on full audio context. This work takes real-time applicability as the first priority in model design and addresses a few challenges in previous work on multi-speaker recurrent neural network transducer (MS-RNN-T). First, we introduce on-the-fly overlapping speech simulation during training, yielding 14% relative word error rate (WER) improvement on LibriSpeechMix test set. Second, we propose a novel multi-turn RNN-T (MT-RNN-T) model with an overlap-based target arrangement strategy that generalizes to an arbitrary number of speakers without changes in the model architecture. We investigate the impact of the maximum number of speakers seen during training on MT-RNN-T performance on LibriCSS test set, and report 28% relative WER improvement over the two-speaker MS-RNN-T. Third, we experiment with a rich transcription strategy for joint recognition and segmentation of multi-party speech. Through an in-depth analysis, we discuss potential pitfalls of the proposed system as well as promising future research directions.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nearly 50 million individuals across the globe and is one of the leading causes of deaths globally. It is projected that by 2050, the number of people affected by the disease would more than double. Consequently, the growing advancements in technology beg the question, can technology be used to predict Alzheimer's for a better and early diagnosis? In this paper, we focus on this very problem. Specifically, we have trained both ML models and neural networks to predict and classify participants based on their speech patterns. We computed a number of linguistic variables using DementiaBank's Pitt Corpus, a database consisting of transcripts of interviews with subjects suffering from multiple neurodegenerative diseases. We then trained both binary classifiers, as well as multiclass classifiers to distinguish AD from normal aging and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also worked on establishing the link between specific speech factors that can help determine the onset of AD. Confusion matrices and feature importance graphs have been plotted model-wise to compare the performances of our models. In both multiclass and binary classification, neural networks were found to outperform the other models with a testing accuracy of 76.44% and 92.05% respectively. For the feature importance, it was concluded that '%_PRESP' (present participle), '%_3S' (3rd person present tense markers) were two of the most important speech features for our classifiers in predicting AD.
Emotion recognition from audio signals has been regarded as a challenging task in signal processing as it can be considered as a collection of static and dynamic classification tasks. Recognition of emotions from speech data has been heavily relied upon end-to-end feature extraction and classification using machine learning models, though the absence of feature selection and optimization have restrained the performance of these methods. Recent studies have shown that Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) have been emerged as one of the most relied feature extraction methods, though it circumscribes the accuracy of classification with a very small feature dimension. In this paper, we propose that the concatenation of features, extracted by using different existing feature extraction methods can not only boost the classification accuracy but also expands the possibility of efficient feature selection. We have used Linear Predictive Coding (LPC) apart from the MFCC feature extraction method, before feature merging. Besides, we have performed a novel application of Manta Ray optimization in speech emotion recognition tasks that resulted in a state-of-the-art result in this field. We have evaluated the performance of our model using SAVEE and Emo-DB, two publicly available datasets. Our proposed method outperformed all the existing methods in speech emotion analysis and resulted in a decent result in these two datasets with a classification accuracy of 97.06% and 97.68% respectively.
In this work, we aim to enhance the system robustness of end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR) against adversarially-noisy speech examples. We focus on a rigorous and empirical "closed-model adversarial robustness" setting (e.g., on-device or cloud applications). The adversarial noise is only generated by closed-model optimization (e.g., evolutionary and zeroth-order estimation) without accessing gradient information of a targeted ASR model directly. We propose an advanced Bayesian neural network (BNN) based adversarial detector, which could model latent distributions against adaptive adversarial perturbation with divergence measurement. We further simulate deployment scenarios of RNN Transducer, Conformer, and wav2vec-2.0 based ASR systems with the proposed adversarial detection system. Leveraging the proposed BNN based detection system, we improve detection rate by +2.77 to +5.42% (relative +3.03 to +6.26%) and reduce the word error rate by 5.02 to 7.47% on LibriSpeech datasets compared to the current model enhancement methods against the adversarial speech examples.
This paper proposes VARA-TTS, a non-autoregressive (non-AR) text-to-speech (TTS) model using a very deep Variational Autoencoder (VDVAE) with Residual Attention mechanism, which refines the textual-to-acoustic alignment layer-wisely. Hierarchical latent variables with different temporal resolutions from the VDVAE are used as queries for residual attention module. By leveraging the coarse global alignment from previous attention layer as an extra input, the following attention layer can produce a refined version of alignment. This amortizes the burden of learning the textual-to-acoustic alignment among multiple attention layers and outperforms the use of only a single attention layer in robustness. An utterance-level speaking speed factor is computed by a jointly-trained speaking speed predictor, which takes the mean-pooled latent variables of the coarsest layer as input, to determine number of acoustic frames at inference. Experimental results show that VARA-TTS achieves slightly inferior speech quality to an AR counterpart Tacotron 2 but an order-of-magnitude speed-up at inference; and outperforms an analogous non-AR model, BVAE-TTS, in terms of speech quality.
Distant speech recognition is a challenge, particularly due to the corruption of speech signals by reverberation caused by large distances between the speaker and microphone. In order to cope with a wide range of reverberations in real-world situations, we present novel approaches for acoustic modeling including an ensemble of deep neural networks (DNNs) and an ensemble of jointly trained DNNs. First, multiple DNNs are established, each of which corresponds to a different reverberation time 60 (RT60) in a setup step. Also, each model in the ensemble of DNN acoustic models is further jointly trained, including both feature mapping and acoustic modeling, where the feature mapping is designed for the dereverberation as a front-end. In a testing phase, the two most likely DNNs are chosen from the DNN ensemble using maximum a posteriori (MAP) probabilities, computed in an online fashion by using maximum likelihood (ML)-based blind RT60 estimation and then the posterior probability outputs from two DNNs are combined using the ML-based weights as a simple average. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed approach leads to substantial improvements in speech recognition accuracy over the conventional DNN baseline systems under diverse reverberant conditions.
Conversational speech normally is embodied with loose syntactic structures at the utterance level but simultaneously exhibits topical coherence relations across consecutive utterances. Prior work has shown that capturing longer context information with a recurrent neural network or long short-term memory language model (LM) may suffer from the recent bias while excluding the long-range context. In order to capture the long-term semantic interactions among words and across utterances, we put forward disparate conversation history fusion methods for language modeling in automatic speech recognition (ASR) of conversational speech. Furthermore, a novel audio-fusion mechanism is introduced, which manages to fuse and utilize the acoustic embeddings of a current utterance and the semantic content of its corresponding conversation history in a cooperative way. To flesh out our ideas, we frame the ASR N-best hypothesis rescoring task as a prediction problem, leveraging BERT, an iconic pre-trained LM, as the ingredient vehicle to facilitate selection of the oracle hypothesis from a given N-best hypothesis list. Empirical experiments conducted on the AMI benchmark dataset seem to demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of our methods in relation to some current top-of-line methods.