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"speech": models, code, and papers

WaveGlow: A Flow-based Generative Network for Speech Synthesis

Oct 31, 2018
Ryan Prenger, Rafael Valle, Bryan Catanzaro

In this paper we propose WaveGlow: a flow-based network capable of generating high quality speech from mel-spectrograms. WaveGlow combines insights from Glow and WaveNet in order to provide fast, efficient and high-quality audio synthesis, without the need for auto-regression. WaveGlow is implemented using only a single network, trained using only a single cost function: maximizing the likelihood of the training data, which makes the training procedure simple and stable. Our PyTorch implementation produces audio samples at a rate of more than 500 kHz on an NVIDIA V100 GPU. Mean Opinion Scores show that it delivers audio quality as good as the best publicly available WaveNet implementation. All code will be made publicly available online.

* 5 pages, 1 figure, 1 table, 13 equations 

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ZR-2021VG: Zero-Resource Speech Challenge, Visually-Grounded Language Modelling track, 2021 edition

Jul 14, 2021
Afra Alishahia, Grzegorz Chrupała, Alejandrina Cristia, Emmanuel Dupoux, Bertrand Higy, Marvin Lavechin, Okko Räsänen, Chen Yu

We present the visually-grounded language modelling track that was introduced in the Zero-Resource Speech challenge, 2021 edition, 2nd round. We motivate the new track and discuss participation rules in detail. We also present the two baseline systems that were developed for this track.


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Improving Stability of LS-GANs for Audio and Speech Signals

Aug 12, 2020
Mohammad Esmaeilpour, Raymel Alfonso Sallo, Olivier St-Georges, Patrick Cardinal, Alessandro Lameiras Koerich

In this paper we address the instability issue of generative adversarial network (GAN) by proposing a new similarity metric in unitary space of Schur decomposition for 2D representations of audio and speech signals. We show that encoding departure from normality computed in this vector space into the generator optimization formulation helps to craft more comprehensive spectrograms. We demonstrate the effectiveness of binding this metric for enhancing stability in training with less mode collapse compared to baseline GANs. Experimental results on subsets of UrbanSound8k and Mozilla common voice datasets have shown considerable improvements on the quality of the generated samples measured by the Fr\'echet inception distance. Moreover, reconstructed signals from these samples, have achieved higher signal to noise ratio compared to regular LS-GANs.

* 10 pages 

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Machine Learning Approaches for Amharic Parts-of-speech Tagging

Jan 10, 2020
Ibrahim Gashaw, H L. Shashirekha

Part-of-speech (POS) tagging is considered as one of the basic but necessary tools which are required for many Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications such as word sense disambiguation, information retrieval, information processing, parsing, question answering, and machine translation. Performance of the current POS taggers in Amharic is not as good as that of the contemporary POS taggers available for English and other European languages. The aim of this work is to improve POS tagging performance for the Amharic language, which was never above 91%. Usage of morphological knowledge, an extension of the existing annotated data, feature extraction, parameter tuning by applying grid search and the tagging algorithms have been examined and obtained significant performance difference from the previous works. We have used three different datasets for POS experiments.

* 15th International Conference on Natural Language Processing (ICON-2018) 

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Training Augmentation with Adversarial Examples for Robust Speech Recognition

Jun 17, 2018
Sining Sun, Ching-Feng Yeh, Mari Ostendorf, Mei-Yuh Hwang, Lei Xie

This paper explores the use of adversarial examples in training speech recognition systems to increase robustness of deep neural network acoustic models. During training, the fast gradient sign method is used to generate adversarial examples augmenting the original training data. Different from conventional data augmentation based on data transformations, the examples are dynamically generated based on current acoustic model parameters. We assess the impact of adversarial data augmentation in experiments on the Aurora-4 and CHiME-4 single-channel tasks, showing improved robustness against noise and channel variation. Further improvement is obtained when combining adversarial examples with teacher/student training, leading to a 23% relative word error rate reduction on Aurora-4.


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Part-of-Speech Relevance Weights for Learning Word Embeddings

Mar 24, 2016
Quan Liu, Zhen-Hua Ling, Hui Jiang, Yu Hu

This paper proposes a model to learn word embeddings with weighted contexts based on part-of-speech (POS) relevance weights. POS is a fundamental element in natural language. However, state-of-the-art word embedding models fail to consider it. This paper proposes to use position-dependent POS relevance weighting matrices to model the inherent syntactic relationship among words within a context window. We utilize the POS relevance weights to model each word-context pairs during the word embedding training process. The model proposed in this paper paper jointly optimizes word vectors and the POS relevance matrices. Experiments conducted on popular word analogy and word similarity tasks all demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method.

* Word embeddings 

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Unsupervised Quantized Prosody Representation for Controllable Speech Synthesis

Apr 07, 2022
Yutian Wang, Yuankun Xie, Kun Zhao, Hui Wang, Qin Zhang

In this paper, we propose a novel prosody disentangle method for prosodic Text-to-Speech (TTS) model, which introduces the vector quantization (VQ) method to the auxiliary prosody encoder to obtain the decomposed prosody representations in an unsupervised manner. Rely on its advantages, the speaking styles, such as pitch, speaking velocity, local pitch variance, etc., are decomposed automatically into the latent quantize vectors. We also investigate the internal mechanism of VQ disentangle process by means of a latent variables counter and find that higher value dimensions usually represent prosody information. Experiments show that our model can control the speaking styles of synthesis results by directly manipulating the latent variables. The objective and subjective evaluations illustrated that our model outperforms the popular models.

* accepted by IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo 2022 (ICME2022) 

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Transformer-based Acoustic Modeling for Hybrid Speech Recognition

Oct 22, 2019
Yongqiang Wang, Abdelrahman Mohamed, Duc Le, Chunxi Liu, Alex Xiao, Jay Mahadeokar, Hongzhao Huang, Andros Tjandra, Xiaohui Zhang, Frank Zhang, Christian Fuegen, Geoffrey Zweig, Michael L. Seltzer

We propose and evaluate transformer-based acoustic models (AMs) for hybrid speech recognition. Several modeling choices are discussed in this work, including various positional embedding methods and an iterated loss to enable training deep transformers. We also present a preliminary study of using limited right context in transformer models, which makes it possible for streaming applications. We demonstrate that on the widely used Librispeech benchmark, our transformer-based AM outperforms the best published hybrid result by 19% to 26% relative when the standard n-gram language model (LM) is used. Combined with neural network LM for rescoring, our proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art results on Librispeech. Our findings are also confirmed on a much larger internal dataset.


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Contextual Speech Recognition with Difficult Negative Training Examples

Oct 29, 2018
Uri Alon, Golan Pundak, Tara N. Sainath

Improving the representation of contextual information is key to unlocking the potential of end-to-end (E2E) automatic speech recognition (ASR). In this work, we present a novel and simple approach for training an ASR context mechanism with difficult negative examples. The main idea is to focus on proper nouns (e.g., unique entities such as names of people and places) in the reference transcript, and use phonetically similar phrases as negative examples, encouraging the neural model to learn more discriminative representations. We apply our approach to an end-to-end contextual ASR model that jointly learns to transcribe and select the correct context items, and show that our proposed method gives up to $53.1\%$ relative improvement in word error rate (WER) across several benchmarks.


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Visual speech recognition: aligning terminologies for better understanding

Oct 03, 2017
Helen L Bear, Sarah Taylor

We are at an exciting time for machine lipreading. Traditional research stemmed from the adaptation of audio recognition systems. But now, the computer vision community is also participating. This joining of two previously disparate areas with different perspectives on computer lipreading is creating opportunities for collaborations, but in doing so the literature is experiencing challenges in knowledge sharing due to multiple uses of terms and phrases and the range of methods for scoring results. In particular we highlight three areas with the intention to improve communication between those researching lipreading; the effects of interchanging between speech reading and lipreading; speaker dependence across train, validation, and test splits; and the use of accuracy, correctness, errors, and varying units (phonemes, visemes, words, and sentences) to measure system performance. We make recommendations as to how we can be more consistent.

* Helen L Bear and Sarah Taylor. Visual speech recognition: aligning terminologies for better understanding. British Machine Vision Conference (BMVC) Deep learning for machine lip reading workshop. 2017 

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