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"speech": models, code, and papers

Robustness Testing of Language Understanding in Dialog Systems

Dec 30, 2020
Jiexi Liu, Ryuichi Takanobu, Jiaxin Wen, Dazhen Wan, Weiran Nie, Hongyan Li, Cheng Li, Wei Peng, Minlie Huang

Most language understanding models in dialog systems are trained on a small amount of annotated training data, and evaluated in a small set from the same distribution. However, these models can lead to system failure or undesirable outputs when being exposed to natural perturbation in practice. In this paper, we conduct comprehensive evaluation and analysis with respect to the robustness of natural language understanding models, and introduce three important aspects related to language understanding in real-world dialog systems, namely, language variety, speech characteristics, and noise perturbation. We propose a model-agnostic toolkit LAUG to approximate natural perturbation for testing the robustness issues in dialog systems. Four data augmentation approaches covering the three aspects are assembled in LAUG, which reveals critical robustness issues in state-of-the-art models. The augmented dataset through LAUG can be used to facilitate future research on the robustness testing of language understanding in dialog systems.


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Towards Ethics by Design in Online Abusive Content Detection

Oct 28, 2020
Svetlana Kiritchenko, Isar Nejadgholi

To support safety and inclusion in online communications, significant efforts in NLP research have been put towards addressing the problem of abusive content detection, commonly defined as a supervised classification task. The research effort has spread out across several closely related sub-areas, such as detection of hate speech, toxicity, cyberbullying, etc. There is a pressing need to consolidate the field under a common framework for task formulation, dataset design and performance evaluation. Further, despite current technologies achieving high classification accuracies, several ethical issues have been revealed. We bring ethical issues to forefront and propose a unified framework as a two-step process. First, online content is categorized around personal and identity-related subject matters. Second, severity of abuse is identified through comparative annotation within each category. The novel framework is guided by the Ethics by Design principle and is a step towards building more accurate and trusted models.

* 14 pages, 2 figures 

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Bayesian Methods for Semi-supervised Text Annotation

Oct 28, 2020
Kristian Miok, Gregor Pirs, Marko Robnik-Sikonja

Human annotations are an important source of information in the development of natural language understanding approaches. As under the pressure of productivity annotators can assign different labels to a given text, the quality of produced annotations frequently varies. This is especially the case if decisions are difficult, with high cognitive load, requires awareness of broader context, or careful consideration of background knowledge. To alleviate the problem, we propose two semi-supervised methods to guide the annotation process: a Bayesian deep learning model and a Bayesian ensemble method. Using a Bayesian deep learning method, we can discover annotations that cannot be trusted and might require reannotation. A recently proposed Bayesian ensemble method helps us to combine the annotators' labels with predictions of trained models. According to the results obtained from three hate speech detection experiments, the proposed Bayesian methods can improve the annotations and prediction performance of BERT models.

* Accepted for COLING 2020, The 14th Linguistic Annotation Workshop 

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Predict and Use Latent Patterns for Short-Text Conversation

Oct 27, 2020
Hung-Ting Chen, Yu-Chieh Chao, Ta-Hsuan Chao, Wei-Yun Ma

Many neural network models nowadays have achieved promising performances in Chit-chat settings. The majority of them rely on an encoder for understanding the post and a decoder for generating the response. Without given assigned semantics, the models lack the fine-grained control over responses as the semantic mapping between posts and responses is hidden on the fly within the end-to-end manners. Some previous works utilize sampled latent words as a controllable semantic form to drive the generated response around the work, but few works attempt to use more complex semantic forms to guide the generation. In this paper, we propose to use more detailed semantic forms, including latent responses and part-of-speech sequences sampled from the corresponding distributions, as the controllable semantics to guide the generation. Our experimental results show that the richer semantics are not only able to provide informative and diverse responses, but also increase the overall performance of response quality, including fluency and coherence.


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Towards Reliable Real-time Opera Tracking: Combining Alignment with Audio Event Detectors to Increase Robustness

Jun 19, 2020
Charles Brazier, Gerhard Widmer

Recent advances in real-time music score following have made it possible for machines to automatically track highly complex polyphonic music, including full orchestra performances. In this paper, we attempt to take this to an even higher level, namely, live tracking of full operas. We first apply a state-of-the-art audio alignment method based on online Dynamic Time-Warping (OLTW) to full-length recordings of a Mozart opera and, analyzing the tracker's most severe errors, identify three common sources of problems specific to the opera scenario. To address these, we propose a combination of a DTW-based music tracker with specialized audio event detectors (for applause, silence/noise, and speech) that condition the DTW algorithm in a top-down fashion, and show, step by step, how these detectors add robustness to the score follower. However, there remain a number of open problems which we identify as targets for ongoing and future research.

* 7 pages, 4 figures, In Proceedings of the 17th Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC 2020), Torino, Italy 

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When Bert Forgets How To POS: Amnesic Probing of Linguistic Properties and MLM Predictions

Jun 01, 2020
Yanai Elazar, Shauli Ravfogel, Alon Jacovi, Yoav Goldberg

A growing body of work makes use of probing in order to investigate the working of neural models, often considered black boxes. Recently, an ongoing debate emerged surrounding the limitations of the probing paradigm. In this work, we point out the inability to infer behavioral conclusions from probing results, and offer an alternative method which is focused on how the information is being used, rather than on what information is encoded. Our method, Amnesic Probing, follows the intuition that the utility of a property for a given task can be assessed by measuring the influence of a causal intervention which removes it from the representation. Equipped with this new analysis tool, we can now ask questions that were not possible before, e.g. is part-of-speech information important for word prediction? We perform a series of analyses on BERT to answer these types of questions. Our findings demonstrate that conventional probing performance is not correlated to task importance, and we call for increased scrutiny of claims that draw behavioral or causal conclusions from probing results.


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Weakly Supervised POS Taggers Perform Poorly on Truly Low-Resource Languages

Apr 28, 2020
Katharina Kann, Ophélie Lacroix, Anders Søgaard

Part-of-speech (POS) taggers for low-resource languages which are exclusively based on various forms of weak supervision - e.g., cross-lingual transfer, type-level supervision, or a combination thereof - have been reported to perform almost as well as supervised ones. However, weakly supervised POS taggers are commonly only evaluated on languages that are very different from truly low-resource languages, and the taggers use sources of information, like high-coverage and almost error-free dictionaries, which are likely not available for resource-poor languages. We train and evaluate state-of-the-art weakly supervised POS taggers for a typologically diverse set of 15 truly low-resource languages. On these languages, given a realistic amount of resources, even our best model gets only less than half of the words right. Our results highlight the need for new and different approaches to POS tagging for truly low-resource languages.

* AAAI 2020 

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CLCNet: Deep learning-based Noise Reduction for Hearing Aids using Complex Linear Coding

Jan 28, 2020
Hendrik Schröter, Tobias Rosenkranz, Alberto N. Escalante B., Marc Aubreville, Andreas Maier

Noise reduction is an important part of modern hearing aids and is included in most commercially available devices. Deep learning-based state-of-the-art algorithms, however, either do not consider real-time and frequency resolution constrains or result in poor quality under very noisy conditions. To improve monaural speech enhancement in noisy environments, we propose CLCNet, a framework based on complex valued linear coding. First, we define complex linear coding (CLC) motivated by linear predictive coding (LPC) that is applied in the complex frequency domain. Second, we propose a framework that incorporates complex spectrogram input and coefficient output. Third, we define a parametric normalization for complex valued spectrograms that complies with low-latency and on-line processing. Our CLCNet was evaluated on a mixture of the EUROM database and a real-world noise dataset recorded with hearing aids and compared to traditional real-valued Wiener-Filter gains.

* 5 Pages, ICASSP 2020 

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Leveraging Topics and Audio Features with Multimodal Attention for Audio Visual Scene-Aware Dialog

Dec 20, 2019
Shachi H Kumar, Eda Okur, Saurav Sahay, Jonathan Huang, Lama Nachman

With the recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA) such as Alexa, Google Home, etc., have become a ubiquitous part of many homes. Currently, such IVAs are mostly audio-based, but going forward, we are witnessing a confluence of vision, speech and dialog system technologies that are enabling the IVAs to learn audio-visual groundings of utterances. This will enable agents to have conversations with users about the objects, activities and events surrounding them. In this work, we present three main architectural explorations for the Audio Visual Scene-Aware Dialog (AVSD): 1) investigating `topics' of the dialog as an important contextual feature for the conversation, 2) exploring several multimodal attention mechanisms during response generation, 3) incorporating an end-to-end audio classification ConvNet, AclNet, into our architecture. We discuss detailed analysis of the experimental results and show that our model variations outperform the baseline system presented for the AVSD task.

* Presented at the 3rd Visually Grounded Interaction and Language (ViGIL) Workshop, NeurIPS 2019, Vancouver, Canada. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1812.08407 

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Knowledge Distillation For Recurrent Neural Network Language Modeling With Trust Regularization

Apr 08, 2019
Yangyang Shi, Mei-Yuh Hwang, Xin Lei, Haoyu Sheng

Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have dominated language modeling because of their superior performance over traditional N-gram based models. In many applications, a large Recurrent Neural Network language model (RNNLM) or an ensemble of several RNNLMs is used. These models have large memory footprints and require heavy computation. In this paper, we examine the effect of applying knowledge distillation in reducing the model size for RNNLMs. In addition, we propose a trust regularization method to improve the knowledge distillation training for RNNLMs. Using knowledge distillation with trust regularization, we reduce the parameter size to a third of that of the previously published best model while maintaining the state-of-the-art perplexity result on Penn Treebank data. In a speech recognition N-bestrescoring task, we reduce the RNNLM model size to 18.5% of the baseline system, with no degradation in word error rate(WER) performance on Wall Street Journal data set.

* ICASSP 2019 

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