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"speech": models, code, and papers

LEAP Submission for the Third DIHARD Diarization Challenge

Apr 06, 2021
Prachi Singh, Rajat Varma, Venkat Krishnamohan, Srikanth Raj Chetupalli, Sriram Ganapathy

The LEAP submission for DIHARD-III challenge is described in this paper. The proposed system is composed of a speech bandwidth classifier, and diarization systems fine-tuned for narrowband and wideband speech separately. We use an end-to-end speaker diarization system for the narrowband conversational telephone speech recordings. For the wideband multi-speaker recordings, we use a neural embedding based clustering approach, similar to the baseline system. The embeddings are extracted from a time-delay neural network (called x-vectors) followed by the graph based path integral clustering (PIC) approach. The LEAP system showed 24% and 18% relative improvements for Track-1 and Track-2 respectively over the baseline system provided by the organizers. This paper describes the challenge submission, the post-evaluation analysis and improvements observed on the DIHARD-III dataset.

* Submitted to INTERSPEECH 2021 

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Memory Time Span in LSTMs for Multi-Speaker Source Separation

Aug 24, 2018
Jeroen Zegers, Hugo Van hamme

With deep learning approaches becoming state-of-the-art in many speech (as well as non-speech) related machine learning tasks, efforts are being taken to delve into the neural networks which are often considered as a black box. In this paper it is analyzed how recurrent neural network (RNNs) cope with temporal dependencies by determining the relevant memory time span in a long short-term memory (LSTM) cell. This is done by leaking the state variable with a controlled lifetime and evaluating the task performance. This technique can be used for any task to estimate the time span the LSTM exploits in that specific scenario. The focus in this paper is on the task of separating speakers from overlapping speech. We discern two effects: A long term effect, probably due to speaker characterization and a short term effect, probably exploiting phone-size formant tracks.

* Interspeech 2018 

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Language Identification Using Deep Convolutional Recurrent Neural Networks

Aug 16, 2017
Christian Bartz, Tom Herold, Haojin Yang, Christoph Meinel

Language Identification (LID) systems are used to classify the spoken language from a given audio sample and are typically the first step for many spoken language processing tasks, such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems. Without automatic language detection, speech utterances cannot be parsed correctly and grammar rules cannot be applied, causing subsequent speech recognition steps to fail. We propose a LID system that solves the problem in the image domain, rather than the audio domain. We use a hybrid Convolutional Recurrent Neural Network (CRNN) that operates on spectrogram images of the provided audio snippets. In extensive experiments we show, that our model is applicable to a range of noisy scenarios and can easily be extended to previously unknown languages, while maintaining its classification accuracy. We release our code and a large scale training set for LID systems to the community.

* to be presented at ICONIP 2017 

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Neural Lattice-to-Sequence Models for Uncertain Inputs

Jul 21, 2017
Matthias Sperber, Graham Neubig, Jan Niehues, Alex Waibel

The input to a neural sequence-to-sequence model is often determined by an up-stream system, e.g. a word segmenter, part of speech tagger, or speech recognizer. These up-stream models are potentially error-prone. Representing inputs through word lattices allows making this uncertainty explicit by capturing alternative sequences and their posterior probabilities in a compact form. In this work, we extend the TreeLSTM (Tai et al., 2015) into a LatticeLSTM that is able to consume word lattices, and can be used as encoder in an attentional encoder-decoder model. We integrate lattice posterior scores into this architecture by extending the TreeLSTM's child-sum and forget gates and introducing a bias term into the attention mechanism. We experiment with speech translation lattices and report consistent improvements over baselines that translate either the 1-best hypothesis or the lattice without posterior scores.

* EMNLP 2017 

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A Universal Deep Room Acoustics Estimator

Sep 29, 2021
Paula Sánchez López, Paul Callens, Milos Cernak

Speech audio quality is subject to degradation caused by an acoustic environment and isotropic ambient and point noises. The environment can lead to decreased speech intelligibility and loss of focus and attention by the listener. Basic acoustic parameters that characterize the environment well are (i) signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), (ii) speech transmission index, (iii) reverberation time, (iv) clarity, and (v) direct-to-reverberant ratio. Except for the SNR, these parameters are usually derived from the Room Impulse Response (RIR) measurements; however, such measurements are often not available. This work presents a universal room acoustic estimator design based on convolutional recurrent neural networks that estimate the acoustic environment measurement blindly and jointly. Our results indicate that the proposed system is robust to non-stationary signal variations and outperforms current state-of-the-art methods.

* WASPAA 2021 
* Room acoustics, Convolutional Recurrent Neural Network, RT60, C50, DRR, STI, SNR 

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Noisy-to-Noisy Voice Conversion Framework with Denoising Model

Sep 22, 2021
Chao Xie, Yi-Chiao Wu, Patrick Lumban Tobing, Wen-Chin Huang, Tomoki Toda

In a conventional voice conversion (VC) framework, a VC model is often trained with a clean dataset consisting of speech data carefully recorded and selected by minimizing background interference. However, collecting such a high-quality dataset is expensive and time-consuming. Leveraging crowd-sourced speech data in training is more economical. Moreover, for some real-world VC scenarios such as VC in video and VC-based data augmentation for speech recognition systems, the background sounds themselves are also informative and need to be maintained. In this paper, to explore VC with the flexibility of handling background sounds, we propose a noisy-to-noisy (N2N) VC framework composed of a denoising module and a VC module. With the proposed framework, we can convert the speaker's identity while preserving the background sounds. Both objective and subjective evaluations are conducted, and the results reveal the effectiveness of the proposed framework.


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Benchmarking and challenges in security and privacy for voice biometrics

Sep 01, 2021
Jean-Francois Bonastre, Hector Delgado, Nicholas Evans, Tomi Kinnunen, Kong Aik Lee, Xuechen Liu, Andreas Nautsch, Paul-Gauthier Noe, Jose Patino, Md Sahidullah, Brij Mohan Lal Srivastava, Massimiliano Todisco, Natalia Tomashenko, Emmanuel Vincent, Xin Wang, Junichi Yamagishi

For many decades, research in speech technologies has focused upon improving reliability. With this now meeting user expectations for a range of diverse applications, speech technology is today omni-present. As result, a focus on security and privacy has now come to the fore. Here, the research effort is in its relative infancy and progress calls for greater, multidisciplinary collaboration with security, privacy, legal and ethical experts among others. Such collaboration is now underway. To help catalyse the efforts, this paper provides a high-level overview of some related research. It targets the non-speech audience and describes the benchmarking methodology that has spearheaded progress in traditional research and which now drives recent security and privacy initiatives related to voice biometrics. We describe: the ASVspoof challenge relating to the development of spoofing countermeasures; the VoicePrivacy initiative which promotes research in anonymisation for privacy preservation.

* Submitted to the symposium of the ISCA Security & Privacy in Speech Communications (SPSC) special interest group 

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Fast and Effective Robustness Certification for Recurrent Neural Networks

May 27, 2020
Wonryong Ryou, Jiayu Chen, Mislav Balunovic, Gagandeep Singh, Andrei Dan, Martin Vechev

We present a precise and scalable verifier for recurrent neural networks, called R2. The verifier is based on two key ideas: (i) a method to compute tight linear convex relaxations of a recurrent update function via sampling and optimization, and (ii) a technique to optimize convex combinations of multiple bounds for each neuron instead of a single bound as previously done. Using R2, we present the first study of certifying a non-trivial use case of recurrent neural networks, namely speech classification. This required us to also develop custom convex relaxations for the general operations that make up speech preprocessing. Our evaluation across a number of recurrent architectures in computer vision and speech domains shows that these networks are out of reach for existing methods as these are an order of magnitude slower than R2, while R2 successfully verified robustness in many cases.


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SKOPE: A connectionist/symbolic architecture of spoken Korean processing

Apr 25, 1995
Geunbae Lee, Jong-Hyeok Lee

Spoken language processing requires speech and natural language integration. Moreover, spoken Korean calls for unique processing methodology due to its linguistic characteristics. This paper presents SKOPE, a connectionist/symbolic spoken Korean processing engine, which emphasizes that: 1) connectionist and symbolic techniques must be selectively applied according to their relative strength and weakness, and 2) the linguistic characteristics of Korean must be fully considered for phoneme recognition, speech and language integration, and morphological/syntactic processing. The design and implementation of SKOPE demonstrates how connectionist/symbolic hybrid architectures can be constructed for spoken agglutinative language processing. Also SKOPE presents many novel ideas for speech and language processing. The phoneme recognition, morphological analysis, and syntactic analysis experiments show that SKOPE is a viable approach for the spoken Korean processing.

* 8 pages, latex, use aaai.sty & aaai.bst, bibfile: nlpsp.bib, to be presented at IJCAI95 workshops on new approaches to learning for natural language processing 

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A Longitudinal Multi-modal Dataset for Dementia Monitoring and Diagnosis

Sep 03, 2021
Dimitris Gkoumas, Bo Wang, Adam Tsakalidis, Maria Wolters, Arkaitz Zubiaga, Matthew Purver, Maria Liakata

Dementia is a family of neurogenerative conditions affecting memory and cognition in an increasing number of individuals in our globally aging population. Automated analysis of language, speech and paralinguistic indicators have been gaining popularity as potential indicators of cognitive decline. Here we propose a novel longitudinal multi-modal dataset collected from people with mild dementia and age matched controls over a period of several months in a natural setting. The multi-modal data consists of spoken conversations, a subset of which are transcribed, as well as typed and written thoughts and associated extra-linguistic information such as pen strokes and keystrokes. We describe the dataset in detail and proceed to focus on a task using the speech modality. The latter involves distinguishing controls from people with dementia by exploiting the longitudinal nature of the data. Our experiments showed significant differences in how the speech varied from session to session in the control and dementia groups.


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