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"speech": models, code, and papers

Representation Learning with Contrastive Predictive Coding

Jul 10, 2018
Aaron van den Oord, Yazhe Li, Oriol Vinyals

While supervised learning has enabled great progress in many applications, unsupervised learning has not seen such widespread adoption, and remains an important and challenging endeavor for artificial intelligence. In this work, we propose a universal unsupervised learning approach to extract useful representations from high-dimensional data, which we call Contrastive Predictive Coding. The key insight of our model is to learn such representations by predicting the future in latent space by using powerful autoregressive models. We use a probabilistic contrastive loss which induces the latent space to capture information that is maximally useful to predict future samples. It also makes the model tractable by using negative sampling. While most prior work has focused on evaluating representations for a particular modality, we demonstrate that our approach is able to learn useful representations achieving strong performance on four distinct domains: speech, images, text and reinforcement learning in 3D environments.

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ADAGIO: Interactive Experimentation with Adversarial Attack and Defense for Audio

May 30, 2018
Nilaksh Das, Madhuri Shanbhogue, Shang-Tse Chen, Li Chen, Michael E. Kounavis, Duen Horng Chau

Adversarial machine learning research has recently demonstrated the feasibility to confuse automatic speech recognition (ASR) models by introducing acoustically imperceptible perturbations to audio samples. To help researchers and practitioners gain better understanding of the impact of such attacks, and to provide them with tools to help them more easily evaluate and craft strong defenses for their models, we present ADAGIO, the first tool designed to allow interactive experimentation with adversarial attacks and defenses on an ASR model in real time, both visually and aurally. ADAGIO incorporates AMR and MP3 audio compression techniques as defenses, which users can interactively apply to attacked audio samples. We show that these techniques, which are based on psychoacoustic principles, effectively eliminate targeted attacks, reducing the attack success rate from 92.5% to 0%. We will demonstrate ADAGIO and invite the audience to try it on the Mozilla Common Voice dataset.

* Demo paper; for supplementary video, see 

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Joint Learning of Interactive Spoken Content Retrieval and Trainable User Simulator

Apr 01, 2018
Pei-Hung Chung, Kuan Tung, Ching-Lun Tai, Hung-Yi Lee

User-machine interaction is crucial for information retrieval, especially for spoken content retrieval, because spoken content is difficult to browse, and speech recognition has a high degree of uncertainty. In interactive retrieval, the machine takes different actions to interact with the user to obtain better retrieval results; here it is critical to select the most efficient action. In previous work, deep Q-learning techniques were proposed to train an interactive retrieval system but rely on a hand-crafted user simulator; building a reliable user simulator is difficult. In this paper, we further improve the interactive spoken content retrieval framework by proposing a learnable user simulator which is jointly trained with interactive retrieval system, making the hand-crafted user simulator unnecessary. The experimental results show that the learned simulated users not only achieve larger rewards than the hand-crafted ones but act more like real users.

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Code Review Comments: Language Matters

Mar 06, 2018
Vasiliki Efstathiou, Diomidis Spinellis

Recent research provides evidence that effective communication in collaborative software development has significant impact on the software development lifecycle. Although related qualitative and quantitative studies point out textual characteristics of well-formed messages, the underlying semantics of the intertwined linguistic structures still remain largely misinterpreted or ignored. Especially, regarding quality of code reviews the importance of thorough feedback, and explicit rationale is often mentioned but rarely linked with related linguistic features. As a first step towards addressing this shortcoming, we propose grounding these studies on theories of linguistics. We particularly focus on linguistic structures of coherent speech and explain how they can be exploited in practice. We reflect on related approaches and examine through a preliminary study on four open source projects, possible links between existing findings and the directions we suggest for detecting textual features of useful code reviews.

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An analysis of incorporating an external language model into a sequence-to-sequence model

Dec 06, 2017
Anjuli Kannan, Yonghui Wu, Patrick Nguyen, Tara N. Sainath, Zhifeng Chen, Rohit Prabhavalkar

Attention-based sequence-to-sequence models for automatic speech recognition jointly train an acoustic model, language model, and alignment mechanism. Thus, the language model component is only trained on transcribed audio-text pairs. This leads to the use of shallow fusion with an external language model at inference time. Shallow fusion refers to log-linear interpolation with a separately trained language model at each step of the beam search. In this work, we investigate the behavior of shallow fusion across a range of conditions: different types of language models, different decoding units, and different tasks. On Google Voice Search, we demonstrate that the use of shallow fusion with a neural LM with wordpieces yields a 9.1% relative word error rate reduction (WERR) over our competitive attention-based sequence-to-sequence model, obviating the need for second-pass rescoring.

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Query-by-Example Search with Discriminative Neural Acoustic Word Embeddings

Jun 12, 2017
Shane Settle, Keith Levin, Herman Kamper, Karen Livescu

Query-by-example search often uses dynamic time warping (DTW) for comparing queries and proposed matching segments. Recent work has shown that comparing speech segments by representing them as fixed-dimensional vectors --- acoustic word embeddings --- and measuring their vector distance (e.g., cosine distance) can discriminate between words more accurately than DTW-based approaches. We consider an approach to query-by-example search that embeds both the query and database segments according to a neural model, followed by nearest-neighbor search to find the matching segments. Earlier work on embedding-based query-by-example, using template-based acoustic word embeddings, achieved competitive performance. We find that our embeddings, based on recurrent neural networks trained to optimize word discrimination, achieve substantial improvements in performance and run-time efficiency over the previous approaches.

* To appear Interspeech 2017 

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Word forms - not just their lengths- are optimized for efficient communication

May 31, 2017
Stephan C. Meylan, Thomas L. Griffiths

The inverse relationship between the length of a word and the frequency of its use, first identified by G.K. Zipf in 1935, is a classic empirical law that holds across a wide range of human languages. We demonstrate that length is one aspect of a much more general property of words: how distinctive they are with respect to other words in a language. Distinctiveness plays a critical role in recognizing words in fluent speech, in that it reflects the strength of potential competitors when selecting the best candidate for an ambiguous signal. Phonological information content, a measure of a word's string probability under a statistical model of a language's sound or character sequences, concisely captures distinctiveness. Examining large-scale corpora from 13 languages, we find that distinctiveness significantly outperforms word length as a predictor of frequency. This finding provides evidence that listeners' processing constraints shape fine-grained aspects of word forms across languages.

* 16 pages, 8 figures 

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Linguistic Input Features Improve Neural Machine Translation

Jun 27, 2016
Rico Sennrich, Barry Haddow

Neural machine translation has recently achieved impressive results, while using little in the way of external linguistic information. In this paper we show that the strong learning capability of neural MT models does not make linguistic features redundant; they can be easily incorporated to provide further improvements in performance. We generalize the embedding layer of the encoder in the attentional encoder--decoder architecture to support the inclusion of arbitrary features, in addition to the baseline word feature. We add morphological features, part-of-speech tags, and syntactic dependency labels as input features to English<->German, and English->Romanian neural machine translation systems. In experiments on WMT16 training and test sets, we find that linguistic input features improve model quality according to three metrics: perplexity, BLEU and CHRF3. An open-source implementation of our neural MT system is available, as are sample files and configurations.

* WMT16 final version; new EN-RO results 

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End-to-end Sequence Labeling via Bi-directional LSTM-CNNs-CRF

May 29, 2016
Xuezhe Ma, Eduard Hovy

State-of-the-art sequence labeling systems traditionally require large amounts of task-specific knowledge in the form of hand-crafted features and data pre-processing. In this paper, we introduce a novel neutral network architecture that benefits from both word- and character-level representations automatically, by using combination of bidirectional LSTM, CNN and CRF. Our system is truly end-to-end, requiring no feature engineering or data pre-processing, thus making it applicable to a wide range of sequence labeling tasks. We evaluate our system on two data sets for two sequence labeling tasks --- Penn Treebank WSJ corpus for part-of-speech (POS) tagging and CoNLL 2003 corpus for named entity recognition (NER). We obtain state-of-the-art performance on both the two data --- 97.55\% accuracy for POS tagging and 91.21\% F1 for NER.

* 10 pages, 3 figures. To appear on ACL 2016 

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On Deep Multi-View Representation Learning: Objectives and Optimization

Feb 02, 2016
Weiran Wang, Raman Arora, Karen Livescu, Jeff Bilmes

We consider learning representations (features) in the setting in which we have access to multiple unlabeled views of the data for learning while only one view is available for downstream tasks. Previous work on this problem has proposed several techniques based on deep neural networks, typically involving either autoencoder-like networks with a reconstruction objective or paired feedforward networks with a batch-style correlation-based objective. We analyze several techniques based on prior work, as well as new variants, and compare them empirically on image, speech, and text tasks. We find an advantage for correlation-based representation learning, while the best results on most tasks are obtained with our new variant, deep canonically correlated autoencoders (DCCAE). We also explore a stochastic optimization procedure for minibatch correlation-based objectives and discuss the time/performance trade-offs for kernel-based and neural network-based implementations.

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