Recently, there has been growing interest in multi-speaker speech recognition, where the utterances of multiple speakers are recognized from their mixture. Promising techniques have been proposed for this task, but earlier works have required additional training data such as isolated source signals or senone alignments for effective learning. In this paper, we propose a new sequence-to-sequence framework to directly decode multiple label sequences from a single speech sequence by unifying source separation and speech recognition functions in an end-to-end manner. We further propose a new objective function to improve the contrast between the hidden vectors to avoid generating similar hypotheses. Experimental results show that the model is directly able to learn a mapping from a speech mixture to multiple label sequences, achieving 83.1 % relative improvement compared to a model trained without the proposed objective. Interestingly, the results are comparable to those produced by previous end-to-end works featuring explicit separation and recognition modules.
This paper proposes an end-to-end approach for single-channel speaker-independent multi-speaker speech separation, where time-frequency (T-F) masking, the short-time Fourier transform (STFT), and its inverse are represented as layers within a deep network. Previous approaches, rather than computing a loss on the reconstructed signal, used a surrogate loss based on the target STFT magnitudes. This ignores reconstruction error introduced by phase inconsistency. In our approach, the loss function is directly defined on the reconstructed signals, which are optimized for best separation. In addition, we train through unfolded iterations of a phase reconstruction algorithm, represented as a series of STFT and inverse STFT layers. While mask values are typically limited to lie between zero and one for approaches using the mixture phase for reconstruction, this limitation is less relevant if the estimated magnitudes are to be used together with phase reconstruction. We thus propose several novel activation functions for the output layer of the T-F masking, to allow mask values beyond one. On the publicly-available wsj0-2mix dataset, our approach achieves state-of-the-art 12.6 dB scale-invariant signal-to-distortion ratio (SI-SDR) and 13.1 dB SDR, revealing new possibilities for deep learning based phase reconstruction and representing a fundamental progress towards solving the notoriously-hard cocktail party problem.
Far-field speech recognition in noisy and reverberant conditions remains a challenging problem despite recent deep learning breakthroughs. This problem is commonly addressed by acquiring a speech signal from multiple microphones and performing beamforming over them. In this paper, we propose to use a recurrent neural network with long short-term memory (LSTM) architecture to adaptively estimate real-time beamforming filter coefficients to cope with non-stationary environmental noise and dynamic nature of source and microphones positions which results in a set of timevarying room impulse responses. The LSTM adaptive beamformer is jointly trained with a deep LSTM acoustic model to predict senone labels. Further, we use hidden units in the deep LSTM acoustic model to assist in predicting the beamforming filter coefficients. The proposed system achieves 7.97% absolute gain over baseline systems with no beamforming on CHiME-3 real evaluation set.
The field of speech recognition is in the midst of a paradigm shift: end-to-end neural networks are challenging the dominance of hidden Markov models as a core technology. Using an attention mechanism in a recurrent encoder-decoder architecture solves the dynamic time alignment problem, allowing joint end-to-end training of the acoustic and language modeling components. In this paper we extend the end-to-end framework to encompass microphone array signal processing for noise suppression and speech enhancement within the acoustic encoding network. This allows the beamforming components to be optimized jointly within the recognition architecture to improve the end-to-end speech recognition objective. Experiments on the noisy speech benchmarks (CHiME-4 and AMI) show that our multichannel end-to-end system outperformed the attention-based baseline with input from a conventional adaptive beamformer.
Currently successful methods for video description are based on encoder-decoder sentence generation using recur-rent neural networks (RNNs). Recent work has shown the advantage of integrating temporal and/or spatial attention mechanisms into these models, in which the decoder net-work predicts each word in the description by selectively giving more weight to encoded features from specific time frames (temporal attention) or to features from specific spatial regions (spatial attention). In this paper, we propose to expand the attention model to selectively attend not just to specific times or spatial regions, but to specific modalities of input such as image features, motion features, and audio features. Our new modality-dependent attention mechanism, which we call multimodal attention, provides a natural way to fuse multimodal information for video description. We evaluate our method on the Youtube2Text dataset, achieving results that are competitive with current state of the art. More importantly, we demonstrate that our model incorporating multimodal attention as well as temporal attention significantly outperforms the model that uses temporal attention alone.
Deep clustering is the first method to handle general audio separation scenarios with multiple sources of the same type and an arbitrary number of sources, performing impressively in speaker-independent speech separation tasks. However, little is known about its effectiveness in other challenging situations such as music source separation. Contrary to conventional networks that directly estimate the source signals, deep clustering generates an embedding for each time-frequency bin, and separates sources by clustering the bins in the embedding space. We show that deep clustering outperforms conventional networks on a singing voice separation task, in both matched and mismatched conditions, even though conventional networks have the advantage of end-to-end training for best signal approximation, presumably because its more flexible objective engenders better regularization. Since the strengths of deep clustering and conventional network architectures appear complementary, we explore combining them in a single hybrid network trained via an approach akin to multi-task learning. Remarkably, the combination significantly outperforms either of its components.
Recurrent neural networks are powerful models for processing sequential data, but they are generally plagued by vanishing and exploding gradient problems. Unitary recurrent neural networks (uRNNs), which use unitary recurrence matrices, have recently been proposed as a means to avoid these issues. However, in previous experiments, the recurrence matrices were restricted to be a product of parameterized unitary matrices, and an open question remains: when does such a parameterization fail to represent all unitary matrices, and how does this restricted representational capacity limit what can be learned? To address this question, we propose full-capacity uRNNs that optimize their recurrence matrix over all unitary matrices, leading to significantly improved performance over uRNNs that use a restricted-capacity recurrence matrix. Our contribution consists of two main components. First, we provide a theoretical argument to determine if a unitary parameterization has restricted capacity. Using this argument, we show that a recently proposed unitary parameterization has restricted capacity for hidden state dimension greater than 7. Second, we show how a complete, full-capacity unitary recurrence matrix can be optimized over the differentiable manifold of unitary matrices. The resulting multiplicative gradient step is very simple and does not require gradient clipping or learning rate adaptation. We confirm the utility of our claims by empirically evaluating our new full-capacity uRNNs on both synthetic and natural data, achieving superior performance compared to both LSTMs and the original restricted-capacity uRNNs.
Deep clustering is a recently introduced deep learning architecture that uses discriminatively trained embeddings as the basis for clustering. It was recently applied to spectrogram segmentation, resulting in impressive results on speaker-independent multi-speaker separation. In this paper we extend the baseline system with an end-to-end signal approximation objective that greatly improves performance on a challenging speech separation. We first significantly improve upon the baseline system performance by incorporating better regularization, larger temporal context, and a deeper architecture, culminating in an overall improvement in signal to distortion ratio (SDR) of 10.3 dB compared to the baseline of 6.0 dB for two-speaker separation, as well as a 7.1 dB SDR improvement for three-speaker separation. We then extend the model to incorporate an enhancement layer to refine the signal estimates, and perform end-to-end training through both the clustering and enhancement stages to maximize signal fidelity. We evaluate the results using automatic speech recognition. The new signal approximation objective, combined with end-to-end training, produces unprecedented performance, reducing the word error rate (WER) from 89.1% down to 30.8%. This represents a major advancement towards solving the cocktail party problem.
Face hallucination, which is the task of generating a high-resolution face image from a low-resolution input image, is a well-studied problem that is useful in widespread application areas. Face hallucination is particularly challenging when the input face resolution is very low (e.g., 10 x 12 pixels) and/or the image is captured in an uncontrolled setting with large pose and illumination variations. In this paper, we revisit the algorithm introduced in  and present a deep interpretation of this framework that achieves state-of-the-art under such challenging scenarios. In our deep network architecture the global and local constraints that define a face can be efficiently modeled and learned end-to-end using training data. Conceptually our network design can be partitioned into two sub-networks: the first one implements the holistic face reconstruction according to global constraints, and the second one enhances face-specific details and enforces local patch statistics. We optimize the deep network using a new loss function for super-resolution that combines reconstruction error with a learned face quality measure in adversarial setting, producing improved visual results. We conduct extensive experiments in both controlled and uncontrolled setups and show that our algorithm improves the state of the art both numerically and visually.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emphunfold the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emphuntie the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
The goal of this paper is to define and analyze systems which exhibit brittle behavior. This behavior is characterized by a sudden and steep decline in performance as the system approaches the limits of tolerance. This can be due to input parameters which exceed a specified input, or environmental conditions which exceed specified operating boundaries. An analogy is made between brittle commmunication systems in particular and materials science.