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EasyASR: A Distributed Machine Learning Platform for End-to-end Automatic Speech Recognition

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We present EasyASR, a distributed machine learning platform for training and serving large-scale Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) models, as well as collecting and processing audio data at scale. Our platform is built upon the Machine Learning Platform for AI of Alibaba Cloud. Its main functionality is to support efficient learning and inference for end-to-end ASR models on distributed GPU clusters. It allows users to learn ASR models with either pre-defined or user-customized network architectures via simple user interface. On EasyASR, we have produced state-of-the-art results over several public datasets for Mandarin speech recognition.


Universal ASR: Unify and Improve Streaming ASR with Full-context Modeling

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Streaming automatic speech recognition (ASR) aims to emit each hypothesized word as quickly and accurately as possible, while full-context ASR waits for the completion of a full speech utterance before emitting completed hypotheses. In this work, we propose a unified framework, Universal ASR, to train a single end-to-end ASR model with shared weights for both streaming and full-context speech recognition. We show that the latency and accuracy of streaming ASR significantly benefit from weight sharing and joint training of full-context ASR, especially with inplace knowledge distillation. The Universal ASR framework can be applied to recent state-of-the-art convolution-based and transformer-based ASR networks. We present extensive experiments with two state-of-the-art ASR networks, ContextNet and Conformer, on two datasets, a widely used public dataset LibriSpeech and an internal large-scale dataset MultiDomain. Experiments and ablation studies demonstrate that Universal ASR not only simplifies the workflow of training and deploying streaming and full-context ASR models, but also significantly improves both emission latency and recognition accuracy of streaming ASR. With Universal ASR, we achieve new state-of-the-art streaming ASR results on both LibriSpeech and MultiDomain in terms of accuracy and latency.


From Senones to Chenones: Tied Context-Dependent Graphemes for Hybrid Speech Recognition

arXiv.org Machine Learning

ABSTRACT There is an implicit assumption that traditional hybrid approaches for automatic speech recognition (ASR) cannot directly model graphemes and need to rely on phonetic lexicons to get competitive performance, especially on English which has poor grapheme-phoneme correspondence. In this work, we show for the first time that, on English, hybrid ASR systems can in fact model graphemes effectively by leveraging tied context-dependent graphemes, i.e., chenones. Our chenone-based systems significantly outperform equivalent senone baselines by 4.5% to 11.1% relative on three different English datasets. Our results on Librispeech are state-of- the-art compared to other hybrid approaches and competitive with previously published end-to-end numbers. Further analysis shows that chenones can better utilize powerful acoustic models and large training data, and require context-and position-dependent modeling to work well. Chenone-based systems also outperform senone baselines on proper noun and rare word recognition, an area where the latter is traditionally thought to have an advantage. Our work provides an alternative for end-to-end ASR and establishes that hybrid systems can be improved by dropping the reliance on phonetic knowledge. Index T erms-- graphemic lexicon, hybrid speech recognition, chenones, acoustic modeling, librispeech 1. INTRODUCTION In the past decade, neural network acoustic models have become a staple in automatic speech recognition (ASR).


FastEmit: Low-latency Streaming ASR with Sequence-level Emission Regularization

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Streaming automatic speech recognition (ASR) aims to emit each hypothesized word as quickly and accurately as possible. However, emitting fast without degrading quality, as measured by word error rate (WER), is highly challenging. Existing approaches including Early and Late Penalties and Constrained Alignments penalize emission delay by manipulating per-token or per-frame probability prediction in sequence transducer models. While being successful in reducing delay, these approaches suffer from significant accuracy regression and also require additional word alignment information from an existing model. In this work, we propose a sequence-level emission regularization method, named FastEmit, that applies latency regularization directly on per-sequence probability in training transducer models, and does not require any alignment. We demonstrate that FastEmit is more suitable to the sequence-level optimization of transducer models for streaming ASR by applying it on various end-to-end streaming ASR networks including RNN-Transducer, Transformer-Transducer, ConvNet-Transducer and Conformer-Transducer. We achieve 150-300 ms latency reduction with significantly better accuracy over previous techniques on a Voice Search test set. FastEmit also improves streaming ASR accuracy from 4.4%/8.9% to 3.1%/7.5% WER, meanwhile reduces 90th percentile latency from 210 ms to only 30 ms on LibriSpeech.


Investigating Deep Neural Transformations for Spectrogram-based Musical Source Separation

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Musical Source Separation (MSS) is a signal processing task that tries to separate the mixed musical signal into each acoustic sound source, such as singing voice or drums. Recently many machine learning-based methods have been proposed for the MSS task, but there were no existing works that evaluate and directly compare various types of networks. In this paper, we aim to design a variety of neural transformation methods, including time-invariant methods, time-frequency methods, and mixtures of two different transformations. Our experiments provide abundant material for future works by comparing several transformation methods. We train our models on raw complex-valued STFT outputs and achieve state-of-the-art SDR performance on the MUSDB singing voice separation task by a large margin of 1.0 dB. 1 Introduction For a given mixed musical signal composed of several instrumental sounds, Musical Source Separation (MSS) is a signal processing task that tries to separate the mixture source into each acoustic sound source, such as singing voice or drums.