Improving Hybrid CTC/Attention Architecture with Time-Restricted Self-Attention CTC for End-to-End Speech Recognition
As demonstrated in hybrid connectionist temporal classification (CTC)/Attention architecture, joint training with a CTC objective is very effective to solve the misalignment problem existing in the attention-based end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR) framework. However, the CTC output relies only on the current input, which leads to the hard alignment issue. To address this problem, this paper proposes the time-restricted attention CTC/Attention architecture, which integrates an
... ntegrates an attention mechanism with the CTC branch. "Time-restricted" means that the attention mechanism is conducted on a limited window of frames to the left and right. In this study, we first explore time-restricted location-aware attention CTC/Attention, establishing the proper time-restricted attention window size. Inspired by the success of self-attention in machine translation, we further introduce the time-restricted self-attention CTC/Attention that can better model the long-range dependencies among the frames. Experiments with wall street journal (WSJ), augmented multiparty interaction (AMI), and switchboard (SWBD) tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed time-restricted self-attention CTC/Attention. Finally, to explore the robustness of this method to noise and reverberation, we join a train neural beamformer frontend with the time-restricted attention CTC/Attention ASR backend in the CHIME-4 dataset. The reduction of word error rate (WER) and the increase of perceptual evaluation of speech quality (PESQ) approve the effectiveness of this framework.