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"speech": models, code, and papers

Feature Learning from Spectrograms for Assessment of Personality Traits

Oct 04, 2016
Marc-André Carbonneau, Eric Granger, Yazid Attabi, Ghyslain Gagnon

Several methods have recently been proposed to analyze speech and automatically infer the personality of the speaker. These methods often rely on prosodic and other hand crafted speech processing features extracted with off-the-shelf toolboxes. To achieve high accuracy, numerous features are typically extracted using complex and highly parameterized algorithms. In this paper, a new method based on feature learning and spectrogram analysis is proposed to simplify the feature extraction process while maintaining a high level of accuracy. The proposed method learns a dictionary of discriminant features from patches extracted in the spectrogram representations of training speech segments. Each speech segment is then encoded using the dictionary, and the resulting feature set is used to perform classification of personality traits. Experiments indicate that the proposed method achieves state-of-the-art results with a significant reduction in complexity when compared to the most recent reference methods. The number of features, and difficulties linked to the feature extraction process are greatly reduced as only one type of descriptors is used, for which the 6 parameters can be tuned automatically. In contrast, the simplest reference method uses 4 types of descriptors to which 6 functionals are applied, resulting in over 20 parameters to be tuned.

* 12 pages, 3 figures 

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SimulEval: An Evaluation Toolkit for Simultaneous Translation

Jul 31, 2020
Xutai Ma, Mohammad Javad Dousti, Changhan Wang, Jiatao Gu, Juan Pino

Simultaneous translation on both text and speech focuses on a real-time and low-latency scenario where the model starts translating before reading the complete source input. Evaluating simultaneous translation models is more complex than offline models because the latency is another factor to consider in addition to translation quality. The research community, despite its growing focus on novel modeling approaches to simultaneous translation, currently lacks a universal evaluation procedure. Therefore, we present SimulEval, an easy-to-use and general evaluation toolkit for both simultaneous text and speech translation. A server-client scheme is introduced to create a simultaneous translation scenario, where the server sends source input and receives predictions for evaluation and the client executes customized policies. Given a policy, it automatically performs simultaneous decoding and collectively reports several popular latency metrics. We also adapt latency metrics from text simultaneous translation to the speech task. Additionally, SimulEval is equipped with a visualization interface to provide better understanding of the simultaneous decoding process of a system. SimulEval has already been extensively used for the IWSLT 2020 shared task on simultaneous speech translation. Code will be released upon publication.

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Re-examination of the Role of Latent Variables in Sequence Modeling

Feb 04, 2019
Zihang Dai, Guokun Lai, Yiming Yang, Shinjae Yoo

With latent variables, stochastic recurrent models have achieved state-of-the-art performance in modeling sound-wave sequence. However, opposite results are also observed in other domains, where standard recurrent networks often outperform stochastic models. To better understand this discrepancy, we re-examine the roles of latent variables in stochastic recurrent models for speech density estimation. Our analysis reveals that under the restriction of fully factorized output distribution in previous evaluations, the stochastic models were implicitly leveraging intra-step correlation but the standard recurrent baselines were prohibited to do so, resulting in an unfair comparison. To correct the unfairness, we remove such restriction in our re-examination, where all the models can explicitly leverage intra-step correlation with an auto-regressive structure. Over a diverse set of sequential data, including human speech, MIDI music, handwriting trajectory and frame-permuted speech, our results show that stochastic recurrent models fail to exhibit any practical advantage despite the claimed theoretical superiority. In contrast, standard recurrent models equipped with an auto-regressive output distribution consistently perform better, significantly advancing the state-of-the-art results on three speech datasets.

* Code available at 

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Multichannel Robot Speech Recognition Database: MChRSR

Dec 30, 2017
José Novoa, Juan Pablo Escudero, Josué Fredes, Jorge Wuth, Rodrigo Mahu, Néstor Becerra Yoma

In real human robot interaction (HRI) scenarios, speech recognition represents a major challenge due to robot noise, background noise and time-varying acoustic channel. This document describes the procedure used to obtain the Multichannel Robot Speech Recognition Database (MChRSR). It is composed of 12 hours of multichannel evaluation data recorded in a real mobile HRI scenario. This database was recorded with a PR2 robot performing different translational and azimuthal movements. Accordingly, 16 evaluation sets were obtained re-recording the clean set of the Aurora 4 database in different movement conditions.

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Author Profiling for Hate Speech Detection

Feb 14, 2019
Pushkar Mishra, Marco Del Tredici, Helen Yannakoudakis, Ekaterina Shutova

The rapid growth of social media in recent years has fed into some highly undesirable phenomena such as proliferation of abusive and offensive language on the Internet. Previous research suggests that such hateful content tends to come from users who share a set of common stereotypes and form communities around them. The current state-of-the-art approaches to hate speech detection are oblivious to user and community information and rely entirely on textual (i.e., lexical and semantic) cues. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to this problem that incorporates community-based profiling features of Twitter users. Experimenting with a dataset of 16k tweets, we show that our methods significantly outperform the current state of the art in hate speech detection. Further, we conduct a qualitative analysis of model characteristics. We release our code, pre-trained models and all the resources used in the public domain.

* Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING) 2018. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1809.00378 

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Sequence-level self-learning with multiple hypotheses

Dec 10, 2021
Kenichi Kumatani, Dimitrios Dimitriadis, Yashesh Gaur, Robert Gmyr, Sefik Emre Eskimez, Jinyu Li, Michael Zeng

In this work, we develop new self-learning techniques with an attention-based sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) model for automatic speech recognition (ASR). For untranscribed speech data, the hypothesis from an ASR system must be used as a label. However, the imperfect ASR result makes unsupervised learning difficult to consistently improve recognition performance especially in the case that multiple powerful teacher models are unavailable. In contrast to conventional unsupervised learning approaches, we adopt the \emph{multi-task learning} (MTL) framework where the $n$-th best ASR hypothesis is used as the label of each task. The seq2seq network is updated through the MTL framework so as to find the common representation that can cover multiple hypotheses. By doing so, the effect of the \emph{hard-decision} errors can be alleviated. We first demonstrate the effectiveness of our self-learning methods through ASR experiments in an accent adaptation task between the US and British English speech. Our experiment results show that our method can reduce the WER on the British speech data from 14.55\% to 10.36\% compared to the baseline model trained with the US English data only. Moreover, we investigate the effect of our proposed methods in a federated learning scenario.

* Published in Interspeech 2020: 

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NVC-Net: End-to-End Adversarial Voice Conversion

Jun 02, 2021
Bac Nguyen, Fabien Cardinaux

Voice conversion has gained increasing popularity in many applications of speech synthesis. The idea is to change the voice identity from one speaker into another while keeping the linguistic content unchanged. Many voice conversion approaches rely on the use of a vocoder to reconstruct the speech from acoustic features, and as a consequence, the speech quality heavily depends on such a vocoder. In this paper, we propose NVC-Net, an end-to-end adversarial network, which performs voice conversion directly on the raw audio waveform of arbitrary length. By disentangling the speaker identity from the speech content, NVC-Net is able to perform non-parallel traditional many-to-many voice conversion as well as zero-shot voice conversion from a short utterance of an unseen target speaker. Importantly, NVC-Net is non-autoregressive and fully convolutional, achieving fast inference. Our model is capable of producing samples at a rate of more than 3600 kHz on an NVIDIA V100 GPU, being orders of magnitude faster than state-of-the-art methods under the same hardware configurations. Objective and subjective evaluations on non-parallel many-to-many voice conversion tasks show that NVC-Net obtains competitive results with significantly fewer parameters.

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When to Intervene: Detecting Abnormal Mood using Everyday Smartphone Conversations

Oct 03, 2019
John Gideon, Katie Matton, Steve Anderau, Melvin G McInnis, Emily Mower Provost

Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a chronic mental illness characterized by extreme mood and energy changes from mania to depression. These changes drive behaviors that often lead to devastating personal or social consequences. BPD is managed clinically with regular interactions with care providers, who assess mood, energy levels, and the form and content of speech. Recent work has proposed smartphones for monitoring mood using speech. However, these works do not predict when to intervene. Predicting when to intervene is challenging because there is not a single measure that is relevant for every person: different individuals may have different levels of symptom severity considered typical. Additionally, this typical mood, or baseline, may change over time, making a single symptom threshold insufficient. This work presents an innovative approach that expands clinical mood monitoring to predict when interventions are necessary using an anomaly detection framework, which we call Temporal Normalization. We first validate the model using a dataset annotated for clinical interventions and then incorporate this method in a deep learning framework to predict mood anomalies from natural, unstructured, telephone speech data. The combination of these approaches provides a framework to enable real-world speech-focused mood monitoring.

* Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing 

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Guided Source Separation Meets a Strong ASR Backend: Hitachi/Paderborn University Joint Investigation for Dinner Party ASR

May 29, 2019
Naoyuki Kanda, Christoph Boeddeker, Jens Heitkaemper, Yusuke Fujita, Shota Horiguchi, Kenji Nagamatsu, Reinhold Haeb-Umbach

In this paper, we present Hitachi and Paderborn University's joint effort for automatic speech recognition (ASR) in a dinner party scenario. The main challenges of ASR systems for dinner party recordings obtained by multiple microphone arrays are (1) heavy speech overlaps, (2) severe noise and reverberation, (3) very natural conversational content, and possibly (4) insufficient training data. As an example of a dinner party scenario, we have chosen the data presented during the CHiME-5 speech recognition challenge, where the baseline ASR had a 73.3% word error rate (WER), and even the best performing system at the CHiME-5 challenge had a 46.1% WER. We extensively investigated a combination of the guided source separation-based speech enhancement technique and an already proposed strong ASR backend and found that a tight combination of these techniques provided substantial accuracy improvements. Our final system achieved WERs of 39.94% and 41.64% for the development and evaluation data, respectively, both of which are the best published results for the dataset. We also investigated with additional training data on the official small data in the CHiME-5 corpus to assess the intrinsic difficulty of this ASR task.

* Submitted to INTERSPEECH 2019 

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