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"speech": models, code, and papers

Investigating Language Impact in Bilingual Approaches for Computational Language Documentation

Mar 30, 2020
Marcely Zanon Boito, Aline Villavicencio, Laurent Besacier

For endangered languages, data collection campaigns have to accommodate the challenge that many of them are from oral tradition, and producing transcriptions is costly. Therefore, it is fundamental to translate them into a widely spoken language to ensure interpretability of the recordings. In this paper we investigate how the choice of translation language affects the posterior documentation work and potential automatic approaches which will work on top of the produced bilingual corpus. For answering this question, we use the MaSS multilingual speech corpus (Boito et al., 2020) for creating 56 bilingual pairs that we apply to the task of low-resource unsupervised word segmentation and alignment. Our results highlight that the choice of language for translation influences the word segmentation performance, and that different lexicons are learned by using different aligned translations. Lastly, this paper proposes a hybrid approach for bilingual word segmentation, combining boundary clues extracted from a non-parametric Bayesian model (Goldwater et al., 2009a) with the attentional word segmentation neural model from Godard et al. (2018). Our results suggest that incorporating these clues into the neural models' input representation increases their translation and alignment quality, specially for challenging language pairs.

* Accepted to 1st Joint SLTU and CCURL Workshop 

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Neural Network based End-to-End Query by Example Spoken Term Detection

Nov 19, 2019
Dhananjay Ram, Lesly Miculicich, Hervé Bourlard

This paper focuses on the problem of query by example spoken term detection (QbE-STD) in zero-resource scenario. State-of-the-art approaches primarily rely on dynamic time warping (DTW) based template matching techniques using phone posterior or bottleneck features extracted from a deep neural network (DNN). We use both monolingual and multilingual bottleneck features, and show that multilingual features perform increasingly better with more training languages. Previously, it has been shown that the DTW based matching can be replaced with a CNN based matching while using posterior features. Here, we show that the CNN based matching outperforms DTW based matching using bottleneck features as well. In this case, the feature extraction and pattern matching stages of our QbE-STD system are optimized independently of each other. We propose to integrate these two stages in a fully neural network based end-to-end learning framework to enable joint optimization of those two stages simultaneously. The proposed approaches are evaluated on two challenging multilingual datasets: Spoken Web Search 2013 and Query by Example Search on Speech Task 2014, demonstrating in each case significant improvements.


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Embeddings for DNN speaker adaptive training

Sep 30, 2019
Joanna Rownicka, Peter Bell, Steve Renals

In this work, we investigate the use of embeddings for speaker-adaptive training of DNNs (DNN-SAT) focusing on a small amount of adaptation data per speaker. DNN-SAT can be viewed as learning a mapping from each embedding to transformation parameters that are applied to the shared parameters of the DNN. We investigate different approaches to applying these transformations, and find that with a good training strategy, a multi-layer adaptation network applied to all hidden layers is no more effective than a single linear layer acting on the embeddings to transform the input features. In the second part of our work, we evaluate different embeddings (i-vectors, x-vectors and deep CNN embeddings) in an additional speaker recognition task in order to gain insight into what should characterize an embedding for DNN-SAT. We find the performance for speaker recognition of a given representation is not correlated with its ASR performance; in fact, ability to capture more speech attributes than just speaker identity was the most important characteristic of the embeddings for efficient DNN-SAT ASR. Our best models achieved relative WER gains of 4% and 9% over DNN baselines using speaker-level cepstral mean normalisation (CMN), and a fully speaker-independent model, respectively.

* Accepted at ASRU 2019 

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Hierarchical Cross-Modal Talking Face Generationwith Dynamic Pixel-Wise Loss

May 09, 2019
Lele Chen, Ross K. Maddox, Zhiyao Duan, Chenliang Xu

We devise a cascade GAN approach to generate talking face video, which is robust to different face shapes, view angles, facial characteristics, and noisy audio conditions. Instead of learning a direct mapping from audio to video frames, we propose first to transfer audio to high-level structure, i.e., the facial landmarks, and then to generate video frames conditioned on the landmarks. Compared to a direct audio-to-image approach, our cascade approach avoids fitting spurious correlations between audiovisual signals that are irrelevant to the speech content. We, humans, are sensitive to temporal discontinuities and subtle artifacts in video. To avoid those pixel jittering problems and to enforce the network to focus on audiovisual-correlated regions, we propose a novel dynamically adjustable pixel-wise loss with an attention mechanism. Furthermore, to generate a sharper image with well-synchronized facial movements, we propose a novel regression-based discriminator structure, which considers sequence-level information along with frame-level information. Thoughtful experiments on several datasets and real-world samples demonstrate significantly better results obtained by our method than the state-of-the-art methods in both quantitative and qualitative comparisons.

* Published in CVPR 2019 

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Objective Assessment of Social Skills Using Automated Language Analysis for Identification of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Apr 24, 2019
Rohit Voleti, Stephanie Woolridge, Julie M. Liss, Melissa Milanovic, Christopher R. Bowie, Visar Berisha

Several studies have shown that speech and language features, automatically extracted from clinical interviews or spontaneous discourse, have diagnostic value for mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They typically make use of a large feature set to train a classifier for distinguishing between two groups of interest, i.e. a clinical and control group. However, a purely data-driven approach runs the risk of overfitting to a particular data set, especially when sample sizes are limited. Here, we first down-select the set of language features to a small subset that is related to a well-validated test of functional ability, the Social Skills Performance Assessment (SSPA). This helps establish the concurrent validity of the selected features. We use only these features to train a simple classifier to distinguish between groups of interest. Linear regression reveals that a subset of language features can effectively model the SSPA, with a correlation coefficient of 0.75. Furthermore, the same feature set can be used to build a strong binary classifier to distinguish between healthy controls and a clinical group (AUC = 0.96) and also between patients within the clinical group with schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder (AUC = 0.83).

* Submitted to INTERSPEECH 2019 (under review). 4 pages + 1 page references. Two figures 

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ABI Neural Ensemble Model for Gender Prediction Adapt Bar-Ilan Submission for the CLIN29 Shared Task on Gender Prediction

Feb 23, 2019
Eva Vanmassenhove, Amit Moryossef, Alberto Poncelas, Andy Way, Dimitar Shterionov

We present our system for the CLIN29 shared task on cross-genre gender detection for Dutch. We experimented with a multitude of neural models (CNN, RNN, LSTM, etc.), more "traditional" models (SVM, RF, LogReg, etc.), different feature sets as well as data pre-processing. The final results suggested that using tokenized, non-lowercased data works best for most of the neural models, while a combination of word clusters, character trigrams and word lists showed to be most beneficial for the majority of the more "traditional" (that is, non-neural) models, beating features used in previous tasks such as n-grams, character n-grams, part-of-speech tags and combinations thereof. In contradiction with the results described in previous comparable shared tasks, our neural models performed better than our best traditional approaches with our best feature set-up. Our final model consisted of a weighted ensemble model combining the top 25 models. Our final model won both the in-domain gender prediction task and the cross-genre challenge, achieving an average accuracy of 64.93% on the in-domain gender prediction task, and 56.26% on cross-genre gender prediction.

* Conference: Computational Linguistics of the Netherlands CLIN29 

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Impact of Data Normalization on Deep Neural Network for Time Series Forecasting

Jan 07, 2019
Samit Bhanja, Abhishek Das

For the last few years it has been observed that the Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) has achieved an excellent success in image classification, speech recognition. But DNNs are suffer great deal of challenges for time series forecasting because most of the time series data are nonlinear in nature and highly dynamic in behaviour. The time series forecasting has a great impact on our socio-economic environment. Hence, to deal with these challenges its need to be redefined the DNN model and keeping this in mind, data pre-processing, network architecture and network parameters are need to be consider before feeding the data into DNN models. Data normalization is the basic data pre-processing technique form which learning is to be done. The effectiveness of time series forecasting is heavily depend on the data normalization technique. In this paper, different normalization methods are used on time series data before feeding the data into the DNN model and we try to find out the impact of each normalization technique on DNN to forecast the time series. Here the Deep Recurrent Neural Network (DRNN) is used to predict the closing index of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by using BSE and NYSE time series data.

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When CTC Training Meets Acoustic Landmarks

Nov 05, 2018
Di He, Xuesong Yang, Boon Pang Lim, Yi Liang, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Deming Chen

Connectionist temporal classification (CTC) training criterion provides an alternative acoustic model (AM) training strategy for automatic speech recognition in an end-to-end fashion. Although CTC criterion benefits acoustic modeling without needs of time-aligned phonetics transcription, it remains in need of efforts of tweaking to convergence, especially in the resource-constrained scenario. In this paper, we proposed to improve CTC training by incorporating acoustic landmarks. We tailored a new set of acoustic landmarks to help CTC training converge more quickly while also reducing recognition error rates. We leveraged new target label sequences mixed with both phone and manner changes to guide CTC training. Experiments on TIMIT demonstrated that CTC based acoustic models converge faster and smoother significantly when they are augmented by acoustic landmarks. The models pretrained with mixed target labels can be finetuned furthermore, which reduced phone error rate by 8.72% on TIMIT. The consistent performance gain is also observed on reduced TIMIT and WSJ as well, in which case, we are the first to succeed in testing the effectiveness of acoustic landmark theory on mid-sized ASR tasks.

* submitted in International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2019) 

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Personalized Dynamics Models for Adaptive Assistive Navigation Systems

Oct 08, 2018
Eshed Ohn-Bar, Kris Kitani, Chieko Asakawa

Consider an assistive system that guides visually impaired users through speech and haptic feedback to their destination. Existing robotic and ubiquitous navigation technologies (e.g., portable, ground, or wearable systems) often operate in a generic, user-agnostic manner. However, to minimize confusion and navigation errors, our real-world analysis reveals a crucial need to adapt the instructional guidance across different end-users with diverse mobility skills. To address this practical issue in scalable system design, we propose a novel model-based reinforcement learning framework for personalizing the system-user interaction experience. When incrementally adapting the system to new users, we propose to use a weighted experts model for addressing data-efficiency limitations in transfer learning with deep models. A real-world dataset of navigation by blind users is used to show that the proposed approach allows for (1) more accurate long-term human behavior prediction (up to 20 seconds into the future) through improved reasoning over personal mobility characteristics, interaction with surrounding obstacles, and the current navigation goal, and (2) quick adaptation at the onset of learning, when data is limited.

* Oral Presentation in 2nd Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL, 2018) 

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