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"speech": models, code, and papers

CMIR-NET : A Deep Learning Based Model For Cross-Modal Retrieval In Remote Sensing

Apr 09, 2019
Ushasi Chaudhuri, Biplab Banerjee, Avik Bhattacharya, Mihai Datcu

We address the problem of cross-modal information retrieval in the domain of remote sensing. In particular, we are interested in two application scenarios: i) cross-modal retrieval between panchromatic (PAN) and multi-spectral imagery, and ii) multi-label image retrieval between very high resolution (VHR) images and speech based label annotations. Notice that these multi-modal retrieval scenarios are more challenging than the traditional uni-modal retrieval approaches given the inherent differences in distributions between the modalities. However, with the growing availability of multi-source remote sensing data and the scarcity of enough semantic annotations, the task of multi-modal retrieval has recently become extremely important. In this regard, we propose a novel deep neural network based architecture which is considered to learn a discriminative shared feature space for all the input modalities, suitable for semantically coherent information retrieval. Extensive experiments are carried out on the benchmark large-scale PAN - multi-spectral DSRSID dataset and the multi-label UC-Merced dataset. Together with the Merced dataset, we generate a corpus of speech signals corresponding to the labels. Superior performance with respect to the current state-of-the-art is observed in all the cases.


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Depression Severity Estimation from Multiple Modalities

Nov 10, 2017
Evgeny Stepanov, Stephane Lathuiliere, Shammur Absar Chowdhury, Arindam Ghosh, Radu-Laurentiu Vieriu, Nicu Sebe, Giuseppe Riccardi

Depression is a major debilitating disorder which can affect people from all ages. With a continuous increase in the number of annual cases of depression, there is a need to develop automatic techniques for the detection of the presence and extent of depression. In this AVEC challenge we explore different modalities (speech, language and visual features extracted from face) to design and develop automatic methods for the detection of depression. In psychology literature, the PHQ-8 questionnaire is well established as a tool for measuring the severity of depression. In this paper we aim to automatically predict the PHQ-8 scores from features extracted from the different modalities. We show that visual features extracted from facial landmarks obtain the best performance in terms of estimating the PHQ-8 results with a mean absolute error (MAE) of 4.66 on the development set. Behavioral characteristics from speech provide an MAE of 4.73. Language features yield a slightly higher MAE of 5.17. When switching to the test set, our Turn Features derived from audio transcriptions achieve the best performance, scoring an MAE of 4.11 (corresponding to an RMSE of 4.94), which makes our system the winner of the AVEC 2017 depression sub-challenge.

* 8 pages, 1 figure 

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Empirical Evaluation of Parallel Training Algorithms on Acoustic Modeling

Jul 26, 2017
Wenpeng Li, BinBin Zhang, Lei Xie, Dong Yu

Deep learning models (DLMs) are state-of-the-art techniques in speech recognition. However, training good DLMs can be time consuming especially for production-size models and corpora. Although several parallel training algorithms have been proposed to improve training efficiency, there is no clear guidance on which one to choose for the task in hand due to lack of systematic and fair comparison among them. In this paper we aim at filling this gap by comparing four popular parallel training algorithms in speech recognition, namely asynchronous stochastic gradient descent (ASGD), blockwise model-update filtering (BMUF), bulk synchronous parallel (BSP) and elastic averaging stochastic gradient descent (EASGD), on 1000-hour LibriSpeech corpora using feed-forward deep neural networks (DNNs) and convolutional, long short-term memory, DNNs (CLDNNs). Based on our experiments, we recommend using BMUF as the top choice to train acoustic models since it is most stable, scales well with number of GPUs, can achieve reproducible results, and in many cases even outperforms single-GPU SGD. ASGD can be used as a substitute in some cases.


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Discriminative Acoustic Word Embeddings: Recurrent Neural Network-Based Approaches

Nov 08, 2016
Shane Settle, Karen Livescu

Acoustic word embeddings --- fixed-dimensional vector representations of variable-length spoken word segments --- have begun to be considered for tasks such as speech recognition and query-by-example search. Such embeddings can be learned discriminatively so that they are similar for speech segments corresponding to the same word, while being dissimilar for segments corresponding to different words. Recent work has found that acoustic word embeddings can outperform dynamic time warping on query-by-example search and related word discrimination tasks. However, the space of embedding models and training approaches is still relatively unexplored. In this paper we present new discriminative embedding models based on recurrent neural networks (RNNs). We consider training losses that have been successful in prior work, in particular a cross entropy loss for word classification and a contrastive loss that explicitly aims to separate same-word and different-word pairs in a "Siamese network" training setting. We find that both classifier-based and Siamese RNN embeddings improve over previously reported results on a word discrimination task, with Siamese RNNs outperforming classification models. In addition, we present analyses of the learned embeddings and the effects of variables such as dimensionality and network structure.

* To appear at SLT 2016 

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Conditional Deep Hierarchical Variational Autoencoder for Voice Conversion

Dec 06, 2021
Kei Akuzawa, Kotaro Onishi, Keisuke Takiguchi, Kohki Mametani, Koichiro Mori

Variational autoencoder-based voice conversion (VAE-VC) has the advantage of requiring only pairs of speeches and speaker labels for training. Unlike the majority of the research in VAE-VC which focuses on utilizing auxiliary losses or discretizing latent variables, this paper investigates how an increasing model expressiveness has benefits and impacts on the VAE-VC. Specifically, we first analyze VAE-VC from a rate-distortion perspective, and point out that model expressiveness is significant for VAE-VC because rate and distortion reflect similarity and naturalness of converted speeches. Based on the analysis, we propose a novel VC method using a deep hierarchical VAE, which has high model expressiveness as well as having fast conversion speed thanks to its non-autoregressive decoder. Also, our analysis reveals another problem that similarity can be degraded when the latent variable of VAEs has redundant information. We address the problem by controlling the information contained in the latent variable using $\beta$-VAE objective. In the experiment using VCTK corpus, the proposed method achieved mean opinion scores higher than 3.5 on both naturalness and similarity in inter-gender settings, which are higher than the scores of existing autoencoder-based VC methods.


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Knowledge-Grounded Dialogue Flow Management for Social Robots and Conversational Agents

Aug 04, 2021
Lucrezia Grassi, Carmine Tommaso Recchiuto, Antonio Sgorbissa

The article proposes a system for knowledge-based conversation designed for Social Robots and other conversational agents. The proposed system relies on an Ontology for the description of all concepts that may be relevant conversation topics, as well as their mutual relationships. The article focuses on the algorithm for Dialogue Management that selects the most appropriate conversation topic depending on the user's input. Moreover, it discusses strategies to ensure a conversation flow that captures, as more coherently as possible, the user's intention to drive the conversation in specific directions while avoiding purely reactive responses to what the user says. To measure the quality of the conversation, the article reports the tests performed with 100 recruited participants, comparing five conversational agents: (i) an agent addressing dialogue flow management based only on the detection of keywords in the speech, (ii) an agent based both on the detection of keywords and the Content Classification feature of Google Cloud Natural Language, (iii) an agent that picks conversation topics randomly, (iv) a human pretending to be a chatbot, and (v) one of the most famous chatbots worldwide: Replika. The subjective perception of the participants is measured both with the SASSI (Subjective Assessment of Speech System Interfaces) tool, as well as with a custom survey for measuring the subjective perception of coherence.

* 21 pages, 20 figures 

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Utilizing Self-supervised Representations for MOS Prediction

Apr 21, 2021
Wei-Cheng Tseng, Chien-yu Huang, Wei-Tsung Kao, Yist Y. Lin, Hung-yi Lee

Speech quality assessment has been a critical issue in speech processing for decades. Existing automatic evaluations usually require clean references or parallel ground truth data, which is infeasible when the amount of data soars. Subjective tests, on the other hand, do not need any additional clean or parallel data and correlates better to human perception. However, such a test is expensive and time-consuming because crowd work is necessary. It thus becomes highly desired to develop an automatic evaluation approach that correlates well with human perception while not requiring ground truth data. In this paper, we use self-supervised pre-trained models for MOS prediction. We show their representations can distinguish between clean and noisy audios. Then, we fine-tune these pre-trained models followed by simple linear layers in an end-to-end manner. The experiment results showed that our framework outperforms the two previous state-of-the-art models by a significant improvement on Voice Conversion Challenge 2018 and achieves comparable or superior performance on Voice Conversion Challenge 2016. We also conducted an ablation study to further investigate how each module benefits the task. The experiment results are implemented and reproducible with publicly available toolkits.

* Submitted to Interspeech 2021. We acknowledge the support of AWS Machine Learning Research Awards program 

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Multi-Accent Adaptation based on Gate Mechanism

Nov 05, 2020
Han Zhu, Li Wang, Pengyuan Zhang, Yonghong Yan

When only a limited amount of accented speech data is available, to promote multi-accent speech recognition performance, the conventional approach is accent-specific adaptation, which adapts the baseline model to multiple target accents independently. To simplify the adaptation procedure, we explore adapting the baseline model to multiple target accents simultaneously with multi-accent mixed data. Thus, we propose using accent-specific top layer with gate mechanism (AST-G) to realize multi-accent adaptation. Compared with the baseline model and accent-specific adaptation, AST-G achieves 9.8% and 1.9% average relative WER reduction respectively. However, in real-world applications, we can't obtain the accent category label for inference in advance. Therefore, we apply using an accent classifier to predict the accent label. To jointly train the acoustic model and the accent classifier, we propose the multi-task learning with gate mechanism (MTL-G). As the accent label prediction could be inaccurate, it performs worse than the accent-specific adaptation. Yet, in comparison with the baseline model, MTL-G achieves 5.1% average relative WER reduction.

* Accepted in INTERSPEECH 2019 

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Target-Speaker Voice Activity Detection: a Novel Approach for Multi-Speaker Diarization in a Dinner Party Scenario

May 14, 2020
Ivan Medennikov, Maxim Korenevsky, Tatiana Prisyach, Yuri Khokhlov, Mariya Korenevskaya, Ivan Sorokin, Tatiana Timofeeva, Anton Mitrofanov, Andrei Andrusenko, Ivan Podluzhny, Aleksandr Laptev, Aleksei Romanenko

Speaker diarization for real-life scenarios is an extremely challenging problem. Widely used clustering-based diarization approaches perform rather poorly in such conditions, mainly due to the limited ability to handle overlapping speech. We propose a novel Target-Speaker Voice Activity Detection (TS-VAD) approach, which directly predicts an activity of each speaker on each time frame. TS-VAD model takes conventional speech features (e.g., MFCC) along with i-vectors for each speaker as inputs. A set of binary classification output layers produces activities of each speaker. I-vectors can be estimated iteratively, starting with a strong clustering-based diarization. We also extend the TS-VAD approach to the multi-microphone case using a simple attention mechanism on top of hidden representations extracted from the single-channel TS-VAD model. Moreover, post-processing strategies for the predicted speaker activity probabilities are investigated. Experiments on the CHiME-6 unsegmented data show that TS-VAD achieves state-of-the-art results outperforming the baseline x-vector-based system by more than 30% Diarization Error Rate (DER) abs.

* Submitted to Interspeech 2020 

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