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"speech": models, code, and papers

Deep Recurrent NMF for Speech Separation by Unfolding Iterative Thresholding

Sep 21, 2017
Scott Wisdom, Thomas Powers, James Pitton, Les Atlas

In this paper, we propose a novel recurrent neural network architecture for speech separation. This architecture is constructed by unfolding the iterations of a sequential iterative soft-thresholding algorithm (ISTA) that solves the optimization problem for sparse nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) of spectrograms. We name this network architecture deep recurrent NMF (DR-NMF). The proposed DR-NMF network has three distinct advantages. First, DR-NMF provides better interpretability than other deep architectures, since the weights correspond to NMF model parameters, even after training. This interpretability also provides principled initializations that enable faster training and convergence to better solutions compared to conventional random initialization. Second, like many deep networks, DR-NMF is an order of magnitude faster at test time than NMF, since computation of the network output only requires evaluating a few layers at each time step. Third, when a limited amount of training data is available, DR-NMF exhibits stronger generalization and separation performance compared to sparse NMF and state-of-the-art long-short term memory (LSTM) networks. When a large amount of training data is available, DR-NMF achieves lower yet competitive separation performance compared to LSTM networks.

* To be presented at WASPAA 2017 

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Cross-sentence Neural Language Models for Conversational Speech Recognition

Jul 08, 2021
Shih-Hsuan Chiu, Tien-Hong Lo, Berlin Chen

An important research direction in automatic speech recognition (ASR) has centered around the development of effective methods to rerank the output hypotheses of an ASR system with more sophisticated language models (LMs) for further gains. A current mainstream school of thoughts for ASR N-best hypothesis reranking is to employ a recurrent neural network (RNN)-based LM or its variants, with performance superiority over the conventional n-gram LMs across a range of ASR tasks. In real scenarios such as a long conversation, a sequence of consecutive sentences may jointly contain ample cues of conversation-level information such as topical coherence, lexical entrainment and adjacency pairs, which however remains to be underexplored. In view of this, we first formulate ASR N-best reranking as a prediction problem, putting forward an effective cross-sentence neural LM approach that reranks the ASR N-best hypotheses of an upcoming sentence by taking into consideration the word usage in its precedent sentences. Furthermore, we also explore to extract task-specific global topical information of the cross-sentence history in an unsupervised manner for better ASR performance. Extensive experiments conducted on the AMI conversational benchmark corpus indicate the effectiveness and feasibility of our methods in comparison to several state-of-the-art reranking methods.

* More extensions and experiments are under exploration 

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A Time-domain Generalized Wiener Filter for Multi-channel Speech Separation

Dec 07, 2021
Yi Luo

Frequency-domain neural beamformers are the mainstream methods for recent multi-channel speech separation models. Despite their well-defined behaviors and the effectiveness, such frequency-domain beamformers still have the limitations of a bounded oracle performance and the difficulties of designing proper networks for the complex-valued operations. In this paper, we propose a time-domain generalized Wiener filter (TD-GWF), an extension to the conventional frequency-domain beamformers that has higher oracle performance and only involves real-valued operations. We also provide discussions on how TD-GWF can be connected to conventional frequency-domain beamformers. Experiment results show that a significant performance improvement can be achieved by replacing frequency-domain beamformers by the TD-GWF in the recently proposed sequential neural beamforming pipelines.

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An Investigation of Monotonic Transducers for Large-Scale Automatic Speech Recognition

Apr 19, 2022
Niko Moritz, Frank Seide, Duc Le, Jay Mahadeokar, Christian Fuegen

The two most popular loss functions for streaming end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR) are the RNN-Transducer (RNN-T) and the connectionist temporal classification (CTC) objectives. Both perform an alignment-free training by marginalizing over all possible alignments, but use different transition rules. Between these two loss types we can classify the monotonic RNN-T (MonoRNN-T) and the recently proposed CTC-like Transducer (CTC-T), which both can be realized using the graph temporal classification-transducer (GTC-T) loss function. Monotonic transducers have a few advantages. First, RNN-T can suffer from runaway hallucination, where a model keeps emitting non-blank symbols without advancing in time, often in an infinite loop. Secondly, monotonic transducers consume exactly one model score per time step and are therefore more compatible and unifiable with traditional FST-based hybrid ASR decoders. However, the MonoRNN-T so far has been found to have worse accuracy than RNN-T. It does not have to be that way, though: By regularizing the training - via joint LAS training or parameter initialization from RNN-T - both MonoRNN-T and CTC-T perform as well - or better - than RNN-T. This is demonstrated for LibriSpeech and for a large-scale in-house data set.

* Submitted to Interspeech 2022 

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Neural-FST Class Language Model for End-to-End Speech Recognition

Jan 31, 2022
Antoine Bruguier, Duc Le, Rohit Prabhavalkar, Dangna Li, Zhe Liu, Bo Wang, Eun Chang, Fuchun Peng, Ozlem Kalinli, Michael L. Seltzer

We propose Neural-FST Class Language Model (NFCLM) for end-to-end speech recognition, a novel method that combines neural network language models (NNLMs) and finite state transducers (FSTs) in a mathematically consistent framework. Our method utilizes a background NNLM which models generic background text together with a collection of domain-specific entities modeled as individual FSTs. Each output token is generated by a mixture of these components; the mixture weights are estimated with a separately trained neural decider. We show that NFCLM significantly outperforms NNLM by 15.8% relative in terms of Word Error Rate. NFCLM achieves similar performance as traditional NNLM and FST shallow fusion while being less prone to overbiasing and 12 times more compact, making it more suitable for on-device usage.

* Accepted for publication at ICASSP 2022 

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Performance-Efficiency Trade-offs in Unsupervised Pre-training for Speech Recognition

Sep 14, 2021
Felix Wu, Kwangyoun Kim, Jing Pan, Kyu Han, Kilian Q. Weinberger, Yoav Artzi

This paper is a study of performance-efficiency trade-offs in pre-trained models for automatic speech recognition (ASR). We focus on wav2vec 2.0, and formalize several architecture designs that influence both the model performance and its efficiency. Putting together all our observations, we introduce SEW (Squeezed and Efficient Wav2vec), a pre-trained model architecture with significant improvements along both performance and efficiency dimensions across a variety of training setups. For example, under the 100h-960h semi-supervised setup on LibriSpeech, SEW achieves a 1.9x inference speedup compared to wav2vec 2.0, with a 13.5% relative reduction in word error rate. With a similar inference time, SEW reduces word error rate by 25-50% across different model sizes.

* Code available at 

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Multilingual Byte2Speech Text-To-Speech Models Are Few-shot Spoken Language Learners

Mar 05, 2021
Mutian He, Jingzhou Yang, Lei He

We present a multilingual end-to-end Text-To-Speech framework that maps byte inputs to spectrograms, thus allowing arbitrary input scripts. Besides strong results on 40+ languages, the framework demonstrates capabilities to adapt to various new languages under extreme low-resource and even few-shot scenarios of merely 40s transcribed recording without the need of lexicon, extra corpus, auxiliary models, or particular linguistic expertise, while retains satisfactory intelligibility and naturalness matching rich-resource models. Exhaustive comparative studies are performed to reveal the potential of the framework for low-resource application and the impact of various factors contributory to adaptation. Furthermore, we propose a novel method to extract language-specific sub-networks for a better understanding of the mechanism of multilingual models.

* 11 pages 

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A Fully Convolutional Neural Network Approach to End-to-End Speech Enhancement

Jul 20, 2018
Frank Longueira, Sam Keene

This paper will describe a novel approach to the cocktail party problem that relies on a fully convolutional neural network (FCN) architecture. The FCN takes noisy audio data as input and performs nonlinear, filtering operations to produce clean audio data of the target speech at the output. Our method learns a model for one specific speaker, and is then able to extract that speakers voice from babble background noise. Results from experimentation indicate the ability to generalize to new speakers and robustness to new noise environments of varying signal-to-noise ratios. A potential application of this method would be for use in hearing aids. A pre-trained model could be quickly fine tuned for an individuals family members and close friends, and deployed onto a hearing aid to assist listeners in noisy environments.

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Training end-to-end speech-to-text models on mobile phones

Dec 07, 2021
Zitha S, Raghavendra Rao Suresh, Pooja Rao, T. V. Prabhakar

Training the state-of-the-art speech-to-text (STT) models in mobile devices is challenging due to its limited resources relative to a server environment. In addition, these models are trained on generic datasets that are not exhaustive in capturing user-specific characteristics. Recently, on-device personalization techniques have been making strides in mitigating the problem. Although many current works have already explored the effectiveness of on-device personalization, the majority of their findings are limited to simulation settings or a specific smartphone. In this paper, we develop and provide a detailed explanation of our framework to train end-to-end models in mobile phones. To make it simple, we considered a model based on connectionist temporal classification (CTC) loss. We evaluated the framework on various mobile phones from different brands and reported the results. We provide enough evidence that fine-tuning the models and choosing the right hyperparameter values is a trade-off between the lowest WER achievable, training time on-device, and memory consumption. Hence, this is vital for a successful deployment of on-device training onto a resource-limited environment like mobile phones. We use training sets from speakers with different accents and record a 7.6% decrease in average word error rate (WER). We also report the associated computational cost measurements with respect to time, memory usage, and cpu utilization in mobile phones in real-time.

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