Research papers and code for "Yanmin Qian":
This paper describes the extension and optimization of our previous work on very deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for effective recognition of noisy speech in the Aurora 4 task. The appropriate number of convolutional layers, the sizes of the filters, pooling operations and input feature maps are all modified: the filter and pooling sizes are reduced and dimensions of input feature maps are extended to allow adding more convolutional layers. Furthermore appropriate input padding and input feature map selection strategies are developed. In addition, an adaptation framework using joint training of very deep CNN with auxiliary features i-vector and fMLLR features is developed. These modifications give substantial word error rate reductions over the standard CNN used as baseline. Finally the very deep CNN is combined with an LSTM-RNN acoustic model and it is shown that state-level weighted log likelihood score combination in a joint acoustic model decoding scheme is very effective. On the Aurora 4 task, the very deep CNN achieves a WER of 8.81%, further 7.99% with auxiliary feature joint training, and 7.09% with LSTM-RNN joint decoding.

* accepted by SLT 2016
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Speech recognition is a sequence prediction problem. Besides employing various deep learning approaches for framelevel classification, sequence-level discriminative training has been proved to be indispensable to achieve the state-of-the-art performance in large vocabulary continuous speech recognition (LVCSR). However, keyword spotting (KWS), as one of the most common speech recognition tasks, almost only benefits from frame-level deep learning due to the difficulty of getting competing sequence hypotheses. The few studies on sequence discriminative training for KWS are limited for fixed vocabulary or LVCSR based methods and have not been compared to the state-of-the-art deep learning based KWS approaches. In this paper, a sequence discriminative training framework is proposed for both fixed vocabulary and unrestricted acoustic KWS. Sequence discriminative training for both sequence-level generative and discriminative models are systematically investigated. By introducing word-independent phone lattices or non-keyword blank symbols to construct competing hypotheses, feasible and efficient sequence discriminative training approaches are proposed for acoustic KWS. Experiments showed that the proposed approaches obtained consistent and significant improvement in both fixed vocabulary and unrestricted KWS tasks, compared to previous frame-level deep learning based acoustic KWS methods.

* Speech Communication, vol. 102, 100-111, 2018
* accepted by Speech Communication, 08/02/2018
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Although great progresses have been made in automatic speech recognition (ASR), significant performance degradation is still observed when recognizing multi-talker mixed speech. In this paper, we propose and evaluate several architectures to address this problem under the assumption that only a single channel of mixed signal is available. Our technique extends permutation invariant training (PIT) by introducing the front-end feature separation module with the minimum mean square error (MSE) criterion and the back-end recognition module with the minimum cross entropy (CE) criterion. More specifically, during training we compute the average MSE or CE over the whole utterance for each possible utterance-level output-target assignment, pick the one with the minimum MSE or CE, and optimize for that assignment. This strategy elegantly solves the label permutation problem observed in the deep learning based multi-talker mixed speech separation and recognition systems. The proposed architectures are evaluated and compared on an artificially mixed AMI dataset with both two- and three-talker mixed speech. The experimental results indicate that our proposed architectures can cut the word error rate (WER) by 45.0% and 25.0% relatively against the state-of-the-art single-talker speech recognition system across all speakers when their energies are comparable, for two- and three-talker mixed speech, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first work on the multi-talker mixed speech recognition on the challenging speaker-independent spontaneous large vocabulary continuous speech task.

* 11 pages, 6 figures, Submitted to IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1704.01985
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In this paper, we propose a novel technique for direct recognition of multiple speech streams given the single channel of mixed speech, without first separating them. Our technique is based on permutation invariant training (PIT) for automatic speech recognition (ASR). In PIT-ASR, we compute the average cross entropy (CE) over all frames in the whole utterance for each possible output-target assignment, pick the one with the minimum CE, and optimize for that assignment. PIT-ASR forces all the frames of the same speaker to be aligned with the same output layer. This strategy elegantly solves the label permutation problem and speaker tracing problem in one shot. Our experiments on artificially mixed AMI data showed that the proposed approach is very promising.

* 5 pages, 6 figures, InterSpeech2017
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Recently, end-to-end models have become a popular approach as an alternative to traditional hybrid models in automatic speech recognition (ASR). The multi-speaker speech separation and recognition task is a central task in cocktail party problem. In this paper, we present a state-of-the-art monaural multi-speaker end-to-end automatic speech recognition model. In contrast to previous studies on the monaural multi-speaker speech recognition, this end-to-end framework is trained to recognize multiple label sequences completely from scratch. The system only requires the speech mixture and corresponding label sequences, without needing any indeterminate supervisions obtained from non-mixture speech or corresponding labels/alignments. Moreover, we exploited using the individual attention module for each separated speaker and the scheduled sampling to further improve the performance. Finally, we evaluate the proposed model on the 2-speaker mixed speech generated from the WSJ corpus and the wsj0-2mix dataset, which is a speech separation and recognition benchmark. The experiments demonstrate that the proposed methods can improve the performance of the end-to-end model in separating the overlapping speech and recognizing the separated streams. From the results, the proposed model leads to ~10.0% relative performance gains in terms of CER and WER respectively.

* submitted to ICASSP2019
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Recently, speaker embeddings extracted from a speaker discriminative deep neural network (DNN) yield better performance than the conventional methods such as i-vector. In most cases, the DNN speaker classifier is trained using cross entropy loss with softmax. However, this kind of loss function does not explicitly encourage inter-class separability and intra-class compactness. As a result, the embeddings are not optimal for speaker recognition tasks. In this paper, to address this issue, three different margin based losses which not only separate classes but also demand a fixed margin between classes are introduced to deep speaker embedding learning. It could be demonstrated that the margin is the key to obtain more discriminative speaker embeddings. Experiments are conducted on two public text independent tasks: VoxCeleb1 and Speaker in The Wild (SITW). The proposed approach can achieve the state-of-the-art performance, with 25% ~ 30% equal error rate (EER) reduction on both tasks when compared to strong baselines using cross entropy loss with softmax, obtaining 2.238% EER on VoxCeleb1 test set and 2.761% EER on SITW core-core test set, respectively.

* not accepted by INTERSPEECH 2019
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