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"speech": models, code, and papers

Speech Recognition with Deep Recurrent Neural Networks

Mar 22, 2013
Alex Graves, Abdel-rahman Mohamed, Geoffrey Hinton

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are a powerful model for sequential data. End-to-end training methods such as Connectionist Temporal Classification make it possible to train RNNs for sequence labelling problems where the input-output alignment is unknown. The combination of these methods with the Long Short-term Memory RNN architecture has proved particularly fruitful, delivering state-of-the-art results in cursive handwriting recognition. However RNN performance in speech recognition has so far been disappointing, with better results returned by deep feedforward networks. This paper investigates \emph{deep recurrent neural networks}, which combine the multiple levels of representation that have proved so effective in deep networks with the flexible use of long range context that empowers RNNs. When trained end-to-end with suitable regularisation, we find that deep Long Short-term Memory RNNs achieve a test set error of 17.7% on the TIMIT phoneme recognition benchmark, which to our knowledge is the best recorded score.

* To appear in ICASSP 2013 

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Reproducibility Report: Contextualizing Hate Speech Classifiers with Post-hoc Explanation

May 24, 2021
Kiran Purohit, Owais Iqbal, Ankan Mullick

The presented report evaluates Contextualizing Hate Speech Classifiers with Post-hoc Explanation paper within the scope of ML Reproducibility Challenge 2020. Our work focuses on both aspects constituting the paper: the method itself and the validity of the stated results. In the following sections, we have described the paper, related works, algorithmic frameworks, our experiments and evaluations.

* 10 pages 

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Blind Estimation of Room Acoustic Parameters and Speech Transmission Index using MTF-based CNNs

Mar 14, 2021
Suradej Duangpummet, Jessada Karnjana, Waree Kongprawechnon, Masashi Unoki

This paper proposes a blind estimation method based on the modulation transfer function and Schroeder model for estimating reverberation time in seven-octave bands. Therefore, the speech transmission index and five room-acoustic parameters can be estimated.

* 5 pages, 10 figures, IEEEtran class 

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Multilingual Speech Recognition with Corpus Relatedness Sampling

Aug 02, 2019
Xinjian Li, Siddharth Dalmia, Alan W. Black, Florian Metze

Multilingual acoustic models have been successfully applied to low-resource speech recognition. Most existing works have combined many small corpora together and pretrained a multilingual model by sampling from each corpus uniformly. The model is eventually fine-tuned on each target corpus. This approach, however, fails to exploit the relatedness and similarity among corpora in the training set. For example, the target corpus might benefit more from a corpus in the same domain or a corpus from a close language. In this work, we propose a simple but useful sampling strategy to take advantage of this relatedness. We first compute the corpus-level embeddings and estimate the similarity between each corpus. Next, we start training the multilingual model with uniform-sampling from each corpus at first, then we gradually increase the probability to sample from related corpora based on its similarity with the target corpus. Finally, the model would be fine-tuned automatically on the target corpus. Our sampling strategy outperforms the baseline multilingual model on 16 low-resource tasks. Additionally, we demonstrate that our corpus embeddings capture the language and domain information of each corpus.

* Interspeech 2019 

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A Swiss German Dictionary: Variation in Speech and Writing

Mar 31, 2020
Larissa Schmidt, Lucy Linder, Sandra Djambazovska, Alexandros Lazaridis, Tanja Samardžić, Claudiu Musat

We introduce a dictionary containing forms of common words in various Swiss German dialects normalized into High German. As Swiss German is, for now, a predominantly spoken language, there is a significant variation in the written forms, even between speakers of the same dialect. To alleviate the uncertainty associated with this diversity, we complement the pairs of Swiss German - High German words with the Swiss German phonetic transcriptions (SAMPA). This dictionary becomes thus the first resource to combine large-scale spontaneous translation with phonetic transcriptions. Moreover, we control for the regional distribution and insure the equal representation of the major Swiss dialects. The coupling of the phonetic and written Swiss German forms is powerful. We show that they are sufficient to train a Transformer-based phoneme to grapheme model that generates credible novel Swiss German writings. In addition, we show that the inverse mapping - from graphemes to phonemes - can be modeled with a transformer trained with the novel dictionary. This generation of pronunciations for previously unknown words is key in training extensible automated speech recognition (ASR) systems, which are key beneficiaries of this dictionary.

* 6 pages, 1 figure, 2 tables. To be published in: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2020). Marseille, France. For project reports and to obtain the dictionary see http://tiny.uzh.ch/11X 

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Fast Object Class Labelling via Speech

Nov 23, 2018
Michael Gygli, Vittorio Ferrari

Object class labelling is the task of annotating images with labels on the presence or absence of objects from a given class vocabulary. Simply asking one yes-no question per class, however, has a cost that is linear in the vocabulary size and is thus inefficient for large vocabularies. Modern approaches rely on a hierarchical organization of the vocabulary to reduce annotation time, but remain expensive (several minutes per image for the 200 classes in ILSVRC). Instead, we propose a new interface where classes are annotated via speech. Speaking is fast and allows for direct access to the class name, without searching through a list or hierarchy. As additional advantages, annotators can simultaneously speak and scan the image for objects, the interface can be kept extremely simple, and using it requires less mouse movement. However, a key challenge is to train annotators to only say words from the given class vocabulary. We present a way to tackle this challenge and show that our method yields high-quality annotations at significant speed gains (2.3 - 14.9x faster than existing methods).


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Adversarial Attacks and Defenses for Speech Recognition Systems

Mar 31, 2021
Piotr Żelasko, Sonal Joshi, Yiwen Shao, Jesus Villalba, Jan Trmal, Najim Dehak, Sanjeev Khudanpur

The ubiquitous presence of machine learning systems in our lives necessitates research into their vulnerabilities and appropriate countermeasures. In particular, we investigate the effectiveness of adversarial attacks and defenses against automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. We select two ASR models - a thoroughly studied DeepSpeech model and a more recent Espresso framework Transformer encoder-decoder model. We investigate two threat models: a denial-of-service scenario where fast gradient-sign method (FGSM) or weak projected gradient descent (PGD) attacks are used to degrade the model's word error rate (WER); and a targeted scenario where a more potent imperceptible attack forces the system to recognize a specific phrase. We find that the attack transferability across the investigated ASR systems is limited. To defend the model, we use two preprocessing defenses: randomized smoothing and WaveGAN-based vocoder, and find that they significantly improve the model's adversarial robustness. We show that a WaveGAN vocoder can be a useful countermeasure to adversarial attacks on ASR systems - even when it is jointly attacked with the ASR, the target phrases' word error rate is high.

* This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication. Copyright may be transferred without notice, after which this version may no longer be accessible 

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Context-Aware Transformer Transducer for Speech Recognition

Nov 05, 2021
Feng-Ju Chang, Jing Liu, Martin Radfar, Athanasios Mouchtaris, Maurizio Omologo, Ariya Rastrow, Siegfried Kunzmann

End-to-end (E2E) automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems often have difficulty recognizing uncommon words, that appear infrequently in the training data. One promising method, to improve the recognition accuracy on such rare words, is to latch onto personalized/contextual information at inference. In this work, we present a novel context-aware transformer transducer (CATT) network that improves the state-of-the-art transformer-based ASR system by taking advantage of such contextual signals. Specifically, we propose a multi-head attention-based context-biasing network, which is jointly trained with the rest of the ASR sub-networks. We explore different techniques to encode contextual data and to create the final attention context vectors. We also leverage both BLSTM and pretrained BERT based models to encode contextual data and guide the network training. Using an in-house far-field dataset, we show that CATT, using a BERT based context encoder, improves the word error rate of the baseline transformer transducer and outperforms an existing deep contextual model by 24.2% and 19.4% respectively.

* Accepted to ASRU 2021 

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Bayesian Transformer Language Models for Speech Recognition

Feb 09, 2021
Boyang Xue, Jianwei Yu, Junhao Xu, Shansong Liu, Shoukang Hu, Zi Ye, Mengzhe Geng, Xunying Liu, Helen Meng

State-of-the-art neural language models (LMs) represented by Transformers are highly complex. Their use of fixed, deterministic parameter estimates fail to account for model uncertainty and lead to over-fitting and poor generalization when given limited training data. In order to address these issues, this paper proposes a full Bayesian learning framework for Transformer LM estimation. Efficient variational inference based approaches are used to estimate the latent parameter posterior distributions associated with different parts of the Transformer model architecture including multi-head self-attention, feed forward and embedding layers. Statistically significant word error rate (WER) reductions up to 0.5\% absolute (3.18\% relative) and consistent perplexity gains were obtained over the baseline Transformer LMs on state-of-the-art Switchboard corpus trained LF-MMI factored TDNN systems with i-Vector speaker adaptation. Performance improvements were also obtained on a cross domain LM adaptation task requiring porting a Transformer LM trained on the Switchboard and Fisher data to a low-resource DementiaBank elderly speech corpus.


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Deep Speech Denoising with Vector Space Projections

Apr 27, 2018
Jeff Hetherly, Paul Gamble, Maria Barrios, Cory Stephenson, Karl Ni

We propose an algorithm to denoise speakers from a single microphone in the presence of non-stationary and dynamic noise. Our approach is inspired by the recent success of neural network models separating speakers from other speakers and singers from instrumental accompaniment. Unlike prior art, we leverage embedding spaces produced with source-contrastive estimation, a technique derived from negative sampling techniques in natural language processing, while simultaneously obtaining a continuous inference mask. Our embedding space directly optimizes for the discrimination of speaker and noise by jointly modeling their characteristics. This space is generalizable in that it is not speaker or noise specific and is capable of denoising speech even if the model has not seen the speaker in the training set. Parameters are trained with dual objectives: one that promotes a selective bandpass filter that eliminates noise at time-frequency positions that exceed signal power, and another that proportionally splits time-frequency content between signal and noise. We compare to state of the art algorithms as well as traditional sparse non-negative matrix factorization solutions. The resulting algorithm avoids severe computational burden by providing a more intuitive and easily optimized approach, while achieving competitive accuracy.

* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1705.04662 

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