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"speech": models, code, and papers

Discontinuous Grammar as a Foreign Language

Oct 20, 2021
Daniel Fernández-González, Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez

In order to achieve deep natural language understanding, syntactic constituent parsing is a vital step, highly demanded by many artificial intelligence systems to process both text and speech. One of the most recent proposals is the use of standard sequence-to-sequence models to perform constituent parsing as a machine translation task, instead of applying task-specific parsers. While they show a competitive performance, these text-to-parse transducers are still lagging behind classic techniques in terms of accuracy, coverage and speed. To close the gap, we here extend the framework of sequence-to-sequence models for constituent parsing, not only by providing a more powerful neural architecture for improving their performance, but also by enlarging their coverage to handle the most complex syntactic phenomena: discontinuous structures. To that end, we design several novel linearizations that can fully produce discontinuities and, for the first time, we test a sequence-to-sequence model on the main discontinuous benchmarks, obtaining competitive results on par with task-specific discontinuous constituent parsers and achieving state-of-the-art scores on the (discontinuous) English Penn Treebank.

* 22 pages 

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A Decidability-Based Loss Function

Sep 12, 2021
Pedro Silva, Gladston Moreira, Vander Freitas, Rodrigo Silva, David Menotti, Eduardo Luz

Nowadays, deep learning is the standard approach for a wide range of problems, including biometrics, such as face recognition and speech recognition, etc. Biometric problems often use deep learning models to extract features from images, also known as embeddings. Moreover, the loss function used during training strongly influences the quality of the generated embeddings. In this work, a loss function based on the decidability index is proposed to improve the quality of embeddings for the verification routine. Our proposal, the D-loss, avoids some Triplet-based loss disadvantages such as the use of hard samples and tricky parameter tuning, which can lead to slow convergence. The proposed approach is compared against the Softmax (cross-entropy), Triplets Soft-Hard, and the Multi Similarity losses in four different benchmarks: MNIST, Fashion-MNIST, CIFAR10 and CASIA-IrisV4. The achieved results show the efficacy of the proposal when compared to other popular metrics in the literature. The D-loss computation, besides being simple, non-parametric and easy to implement, favors both the inter-class and intra-class scenarios.

* 23 pages, 7 figures. Paper submitted to Pattern Recognition Letters (PRL) 

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Integrating Dialog History into End-to-End Spoken Language Understanding Systems

Aug 18, 2021
Jatin Ganhotra, Samuel Thomas, Hong-Kwang J. Kuo, Sachindra Joshi, George Saon, Zoltán Tüske, Brian Kingsbury

End-to-end spoken language understanding (SLU) systems that process human-human or human-computer interactions are often context independent and process each turn of a conversation independently. Spoken conversations on the other hand, are very much context dependent, and dialog history contains useful information that can improve the processing of each conversational turn. In this paper, we investigate the importance of dialog history and how it can be effectively integrated into end-to-end SLU systems. While processing a spoken utterance, our proposed RNN transducer (RNN-T) based SLU model has access to its dialog history in the form of decoded transcripts and SLU labels of previous turns. We encode the dialog history as BERT embeddings, and use them as an additional input to the SLU model along with the speech features for the current utterance. We evaluate our approach on a recently released spoken dialog data set, the HarperValleyBank corpus. We observe significant improvements: 8% for dialog action and 30% for caller intent recognition tasks, in comparison to a competitive context independent end-to-end baseline system.

* Interspeech 2021 

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Efficient Deep Learning: A Survey on Making Deep Learning Models Smaller, Faster, and Better

Jun 21, 2021
Gaurav Menghani

Deep Learning has revolutionized the fields of computer vision, natural language understanding, speech recognition, information retrieval and more. However, with the progressive improvements in deep learning models, their number of parameters, latency, resources required to train, etc. have all have increased significantly. Consequently, it has become important to pay attention to these footprint metrics of a model as well, not just its quality. We present and motivate the problem of efficiency in deep learning, followed by a thorough survey of the five core areas of model efficiency (spanning modeling techniques, infrastructure, and hardware) and the seminal work there. We also present an experiment-based guide along with code, for practitioners to optimize their model training and deployment. We believe this is the first comprehensive survey in the efficient deep learning space that covers the landscape of model efficiency from modeling techniques to hardware support. Our hope is that this survey would provide the reader with the mental model and the necessary understanding of the field to apply generic efficiency techniques to immediately get significant improvements, and also equip them with ideas for further research and experimentation to achieve additional gains.

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Differentiable Artificial Reverberation

May 28, 2021
Sungho Lee, Hyeong-Seok Choi, Kyogu Lee

We propose differentiable artificial reverberation (DAR), a family of artificial reverberation (AR) models implemented in a deep learning framework. Combined with the modern deep neural networks (DNNs), the differentiable structure of DAR allows training loss gradients to be back-propagated in an end-to-end manner. Most of the AR models bottleneck training speed when implemented "as is" in the time domain and executed with a parallel processor like GPU due to their infinite impulse response (IIR) filter components. We tackle this by further developing a recently proposed acceleration technique, which borrows the frequency-sampling method (FSM). With the proposed DAR models, we aim to solve an artificial reverberation parameter (ARP) estimation task in a unified approach. We design an ARP estimation network applicable to both analysis-synthesis (RIR-to-ARP) and blind estimation (reverberant-speech-to-ARP) tasks. And using different DAR models only requires slightly a different decoder configuration. This way, the proposed DAR framework overcomes the previous methods' limitations of task-dependency and AR-model-dependency.

* Manuscript in progress 

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Robust wav2vec 2.0: Analyzing Domain Shift in Self-Supervised Pre-Training

Apr 02, 2021
Wei-Ning Hsu, Anuroop Sriram, Alexei Baevski, Tatiana Likhomanenko, Qiantong Xu, Vineel Pratap, Jacob Kahn, Ann Lee, Ronan Collobert, Gabriel Synnaeve, Michael Auli

Self-supervised learning of speech representations has been a very active research area but most work is focused on a single domain such as read audio books for which there exist large quantities of labeled and unlabeled data. In this paper, we explore more general setups where the domain of the unlabeled data for pre-training data differs from the domain of the labeled data for fine-tuning, which in turn may differ from the test data domain. Our experiments show that using target domain data during pre-training leads to large performance improvements across a variety of setups. On a large-scale competitive setup, we show that pre-training on unlabeled in-domain data reduces the gap between models trained on in-domain and out-of-domain labeled data by 66%-73%. This has obvious practical implications since it is much easier to obtain unlabeled target domain data than labeled data. Moreover, we find that pre-training on multiple domains improves generalization performance on domains not seen during training. Code and models will be made available at

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A Framework for Integrating Gesture Generation Models into Interactive Conversational Agents

Feb 24, 2021
Rajmund Nagy, Taras Kucherenko, Birger Moell, André Pereira, Hedvig Kjellström, Ulysses Bernardet

Embodied conversational agents (ECAs) benefit from non-verbal behavior for natural and efficient interaction with users. Gesticulation - hand and arm movements accompanying speech - is an essential part of non-verbal behavior. Gesture generation models have been developed for several decades: starting with rule-based and ending with mainly data-driven methods. To date, recent end-to-end gesture generation methods have not been evaluated in a real-time interaction with users. We present a proof-of-concept framework, which is intended to facilitate evaluation of modern gesture generation models in interaction. We demonstrate an extensible open-source framework that contains three components: 1) a 3D interactive agent; 2) a chatbot backend; 3) a gesticulating system. Each component can be replaced, making the proposed framework applicable for investigating the effect of different gesturing models in real-time interactions with different communication modalities, chatbot backends, or different agent appearances. The code and video are available at the project page

* Rajmund Nagy and Taras Kucherenko contributed equally to this work. To be published in the Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2021), Online, May 3-7, 2021, IFAA-MAS, 3 pages, 1 figure 

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Differentially Private Synthetic Medical Data Generation using Convolutional GANs

Dec 22, 2020
Amirsina Torfi, Edward A. Fox, Chandan K. Reddy

Deep learning models have demonstrated superior performance in several application problems, such as image classification and speech processing. However, creating a deep learning model using health record data requires addressing certain privacy challenges that bring unique concerns to researchers working in this domain. One effective way to handle such private data issues is to generate realistic synthetic data that can provide practically acceptable data quality and correspondingly the model performance. To tackle this challenge, we develop a differentially private framework for synthetic data generation using R\'enyi differential privacy. Our approach builds on convolutional autoencoders and convolutional generative adversarial networks to preserve some of the critical characteristics of the generated synthetic data. In addition, our model can also capture the temporal information and feature correlations that might be present in the original data. We demonstrate that our model outperforms existing state-of-the-art models under the same privacy budget using several publicly available benchmark medical datasets in both supervised and unsupervised settings.

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On Minimum Word Error Rate Training of the Hybrid Autoregressive Transducer

Oct 23, 2020
Liang Lu, Zhong Meng, Naoyuki Kanda, Jinyu Li, Yifan Gong

Hybrid Autoregressive Transducer (HAT) is a recently proposed end-to-end acoustic model that extends the standard Recurrent Neural Network Transducer (RNN-T) for the purpose of the external language model (LM) fusion. In HAT, the blank probability and the label probability are estimated using two separate probability distributions, which provides a more accurate solution for internal LM score estimation, and thus works better when combining with an external LM. Previous work mainly focuses on HAT model training with the negative log-likelihood loss, while in this paper, we study the minimum word error rate (MWER) training of HAT -- a criterion that is closer to the evaluation metric for speech recognition, and has been successfully applied to other types of end-to-end models such as sequence-to-sequence (S2S) and RNN-T models. From experiments with around 30,000 hours of training data, we show that MWER training can improve the accuracy of HAT models, while at the same time, improving the robustness of the model against the decoding hyper-parameters such as length normalization and decoding beam during inference.

* 5 pages, submitted to ICASSP 2021 

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