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"speech": models, code, and papers

Identifying Discourse Markers in Spoken Dialog

Jan 17, 1998
Peter A. Heeman, Donna Byron, James F. Allen

In this paper, we present a method for identifying discourse marker usage in spontaneous speech based on machine learning. Discourse markers are denoted by special POS tags, and thus the process of POS tagging can be used to identify discourse markers. By incorporating POS tagging into language modeling, discourse markers can be identified during speech recognition, in which the timeliness of the information can be used to help predict the following words. We contrast this approach with an alternative machine learning approach proposed by Litman (1996). This paper also argues that discourse markers can be used to help the hearer predict the role that the upcoming utterance plays in the dialog. Thus discourse markers should provide valuable evidence for automatic dialog act prediction.

* AAAI 1998 Spring Symposium on Applying Machine Learning to Discourse Processing 
* 8 pages, uses psfig 

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Finite-State Approximation of Phrase-Structure Grammars

Mar 08, 1996
Fernando C. N. Pereira, Rebecca N. Wright

Phrase-structure grammars are effective models for important syntactic and semantic aspects of natural languages, but can be computationally too demanding for use as language models in real-time speech recognition. Therefore, finite-state models are used instead, even though they lack expressive power. To reconcile those two alternatives, we designed an algorithm to compute finite-state approximations of context-free grammars and context-free-equivalent augmented phrase-structure grammars. The approximation is exact for certain context-free grammars generating regular languages, including all left-linear and right-linear context-free grammars. The algorithm has been used to build finite-state language models for limited-domain speech recognition tasks.

* 24 pages, uses psfig.sty; revised and extended version of the 1991 ACL meeting paper with the same title 

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ASR in German: A Detailed Error Analysis

Apr 12, 2022
Johannes Wirth, Rene Peinl

The amount of freely available systems for automatic speech recognition (ASR) based on neural networks is growing steadily, with equally increasingly reliable predictions. However, the evaluation of trained models is typically exclusively based on statistical metrics such as WER or CER, which do not provide any insight into the nature or impact of the errors produced when predicting transcripts from speech input. This work presents a selection of ASR model architectures that are pretrained on the German language and evaluates them on a benchmark of diverse test datasets. It identifies cross-architectural prediction errors, classifies those into categories and traces the sources of errors per category back into training data as well as other sources. Finally, it discusses solutions in order to create qualitatively better training datasets and more robust ASR systems.


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DDOS: A MOS Prediction Framework utilizing Domain Adaptive Pre-training and Distribution of Opinion Scores

Apr 07, 2022
Wei-Cheng Tseng, Wei-Tsung Kao, Hung-yi Lee

Mean opinion score (MOS) is a typical subjective evaluation metric for speech synthesis systems. Since collecting MOS is time-consuming, it would be desirable if there are accurate MOS prediction models for automatic evaluation. In this work, we propose DDOS, a novel MOS prediction model. DDOS utilizes domain adaptive pre-training to further pre-train self-supervised learning models on synthetic speech. And a proposed module is added to model the opinion score distribution of each utterance. With the proposed components, DDOS outperforms previous works on BVCC dataset. And the zero shot transfer result on BC2019 dataset is significantly improved. DDOS also wins second place in Interspeech 2022 VoiceMOS challenge in terms of system-level score.

* Submitted to Interspeech 2022. Code will be available in the future 

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NN3A: Neural Network supported Acoustic Echo Cancellation, Noise Suppression and Automatic Gain Control for Real-Time Communications

Oct 16, 2021
Ziteng Wang, Yueyue Na, Biao Tian, Qiang Fu

Acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), noise suppression (NS) and automatic gain control (AGC) are three often required modules for real-time communications (RTC). This paper proposes a neural network supported algorithm for RTC, namely NN3A, which incorporates an adaptive filter and a multi-task model for residual echo suppression, noise reduction and near-end speech activity detection. The proposed algorithm is shown to outperform both a method using separate models and an end-to-end alternative. It is further shown that there exists a trade-off in the model between residual suppression and near-end speech distortion, which could be balanced by a novel loss weighting function. Several practical aspects of training the joint model are also investigated to push its performance to limit.

* submitted to ICASSP2022 

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Extracting Implicitly Asserted Propositions in Argumentation

Oct 06, 2020
Yohan Jo, Jacky Visser, Chris Reed, Eduard Hovy

Argumentation accommodates various rhetorical devices, such as questions, reported speech, and imperatives. These rhetorical tools usually assert argumentatively relevant propositions rather implicitly, so understanding their true meaning is key to understanding certain arguments properly. However, most argument mining systems and computational linguistics research have paid little attention to implicitly asserted propositions in argumentation. In this paper, we examine a wide range of computational methods for extracting propositions that are implicitly asserted in questions, reported speech, and imperatives in argumentation. By evaluating the models on a corpus of 2016 U.S. presidential debates and online commentary, we demonstrate the effectiveness and limitations of the computational models. Our study may inform future research on argument mining and the semantics of these rhetorical devices in argumentation.

* EMNLP 2020 

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A Dataset of General-Purpose Rebuttal

Sep 01, 2019
Matan Orbach, Yonatan Bilu, Ariel Gera, Yoav Kantor, Lena Dankin, Tamar Lavee, Lili Kotlerman, Shachar Mirkin, Michal Jacovi, Ranit Aharonov, Noam Slonim

In Natural Language Understanding, the task of response generation is usually focused on responses to short texts, such as tweets or a turn in a dialog. Here we present a novel task of producing a critical response to a long argumentative text, and suggest a method based on general rebuttal arguments to address it. We do this in the context of the recently-suggested task of listening comprehension over argumentative content: given a speech on some specified topic, and a list of relevant arguments, the goal is to determine which of the arguments appear in the speech. The general rebuttals we describe here (written in English) overcome the need for topic-specific arguments to be provided, by proving to be applicable for a large set of topics. This allows creating responses beyond the scope of topics for which specific arguments are available. All data collected during this work is freely available for research.

* EMNLP 2019 

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Modeling Acoustic-Prosodic Cues for Word Importance Prediction in Spoken Dialogues

Mar 28, 2019
Sushant Kafle, Cecilia O. Alm, Matt Huenerfauth

Prosodic cues in conversational speech aid listeners in discerning a message. We investigate whether acoustic cues in spoken dialogue can be used to identify the importance of individual words to the meaning of a conversation turn. Individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing often rely on real-time captions in live meetings. Word error rate, a traditional metric for evaluating automatic speech recognition, fails to capture that some words are more important for a system to transcribe correctly than others. We present and evaluate neural architectures that use acoustic features for 3-class word importance prediction. Our model performs competitively against state-of-the-art text-based word-importance prediction models, and it demonstrates particular benefits when operating on imperfect ASR output.

* 8 pages, 2 figures 

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Audio-Linguistic Embeddings for Spoken Sentences

Feb 20, 2019
Albert Haque, Michelle Guo, Prateek Verma, Li Fei-Fei

We propose spoken sentence embeddings which capture both acoustic and linguistic content. While existing works operate at the character, phoneme, or word level, our method learns long-term dependencies by modeling speech at the sentence level. Formulated as an audio-linguistic multitask learning problem, our encoder-decoder model simultaneously reconstructs acoustic and natural language features from audio. Our results show that spoken sentence embeddings outperform phoneme and word-level baselines on speech recognition and emotion recognition tasks. Ablation studies show that our embeddings can better model high-level acoustic concepts while retaining linguistic content. Overall, our work illustrates the viability of generic, multi-modal sentence embeddings for spoken language understanding.

* International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) 2019 

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Native Language Identification using i-vector

Nov 09, 2018
Ahmed Nazim Uddin, Md Ashequr Rahman, Md. Rafidul Islam, Mohammad Ariful Haque

The task of determining a speaker's native language based only on his speeches in a second language is known as Native Language Identification or NLI. Due to its increasing applications in various domains of speech signal processing, this has emerged as an important research area in recent times. In this paper we have proposed an i-vector based approach to develop an automatic NLI system using MFCC and GFCC features. For evaluation of our approach, we have tested our framework on the 2016 ComParE Native language sub-challenge dataset which has English language speakers from 11 different native language backgrounds. Our proposed method outperforms the baseline system with an improvement in accuracy by 21.95% for the MFCC feature based i-vector framework and 22.81% for the GFCC feature based i-vector framework.


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