Hermann Ney

Hermann Ney
RWTH Aachen University · Department of Computer Science

Dr.-Ing.

About

1,041
Publications
174,807
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42,657
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July 1993 - present
RWTH Aachen University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (1,041)
Preprint
Speaker adaptation is important to build robust automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. In this work, we investigate various methods for speaker adaptive training (SAT) based on feature-space approaches for a conformer-based acoustic model (AM) on the Switchboard 300h dataset. We propose a method, called Weighted-Simple-Add, which adds weighted...
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As one of the most popular sequence-to-sequence modeling approaches for speech recognition, the RNN-Transducer has achieved evolving performance with more and more sophisticated neural network models of growing size and increasing training epochs. While strong computation resources seem to be the prerequisite of training superior models, we try to...
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In this work, we show that a factored hybrid hidden Markov model (FH-HMM) which is defined without any phonetic state-tying outperforms a state-of-the-art hybrid HMM. The factored hybrid HMM provides a link to transducer models in the way it models phonetic (label) context while preserving the strict separation of acoustic and language model of the...
Preprint
This paper summarizes our submission to Task 2 of the second track of the 10th Dialog System Technology Challenge (DSTC10) "Knowledge-grounded Task-oriented Dialogue Modeling on Spoken Conversations". Similar to the previous year's iteration, the task consists of three subtasks: detecting whether a turn is knowledge seeking, selecting the relevant...
Preprint
To mitigate the problem of having to traverse over the full vocabulary in the softmax normalization of a neural language model, sampling-based training criteria are proposed and investigated in the context of large vocabulary word-based neural language models. These training criteria typically enjoy the benefit of faster training and testing, at a...
Preprint
The recently proposed conformer architecture has been successfully used for end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR) architectures achieving state-of-the-art performance on different datasets. To our best knowledge, the impact of using conformer acoustic model for hybrid ASR is not investigated. In this paper, we present and evaluate a competi...
Preprint
Sequence discriminative training is a great tool to improve the performance of an automatic speech recognition system. It does, however, necessitate a sum over all possible word sequences, which is intractable to compute in practice. Current state-of-the-art systems with unlimited label context circumvent this problem by limiting the summation to a...
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To improve the performance of state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition systems it is common practice to include external knowledge sources such as language models or prior corrections. This is usually done via log-linear model combination using separate scaling parameters for each model. Typically these parameters are manually optimized on som...
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The mismatch between an external language model (LM) and the implicitly learned internal LM (ILM) of RNN-Transducer (RNN-T) can limit the performance of LM integration such as simple shallow fusion. A Bayesian interpretation suggests to remove this sequence prior as ILM correction. In this work, we study various ILM correction-based LM integration...
Preprint
Data processing is an important step in various natural language processing tasks. As the commonly used datasets in named entity recognition contain only a limited number of samples, it is important to obtain additional labeled data in an efficient and reliable manner. A common practice is to utilize large monolingual unlabeled corpora. Another pop...
Preprint
Pivot-based neural machine translation (NMT) is commonly used in low-resource setups, especially for translation between non-English language pairs. It benefits from using high resource source-pivot and pivot-target language pairs and an individual system is trained for both sub-tasks. However, these models have no connection during training, and t...
Preprint
Complex natural language applications such as speech translation or pivot translation traditionally rely on cascaded models. However, cascaded models are known to be prone to error propagation and model discrepancy problems. Furthermore, there is no possibility of using end-to-end training data in conventional cascaded systems, meaning that the tra...
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The peaky behavior of CTC models is well known experimentally. However, an understanding about why peaky behavior occurs is missing, and whether this is a good property. We provide a formal analysis of the peaky behavior and gradient descent convergence properties of the CTC loss and related training criteria. Our analysis provides a deep understan...
Preprint
As the vocabulary size of modern word-based language models becomes ever larger, many sampling-based training criteria are proposed and investigated. The essence of these sampling methods is that the softmax-related traversal over the entire vocabulary can be simplified, giving speedups compared to the baseline. A problem we notice about the curren...
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Subword units are commonly used for end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR), while a fully acoustic-oriented subword modeling approach is somewhat missing. We propose an acoustic data-driven subword modeling (ADSM) approach that adapts the advantages of several text-based and acoustic-based subword methods into one pipeline. With a fully acou...
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With the advent of direct models in automatic speech recognition (ASR), the formerly prevalent frame-wise acoustic modeling based on hidden Markov models (HMM) diversified into a number of modeling architectures like encoder-decoder attention models, transducer models and segmental models (direct HMM). While transducer models stay with a frame-leve...
Preprint
Attention-based encoder-decoder (AED) models learn an implicit internal language model (ILM) from the training transcriptions. The integration with an external LM trained on much more unpaired text usually leads to better performance. A Bayesian interpretation as in the hybrid autoregressive transducer (HAT) suggests dividing by the prior of the di...
Preprint
Recent publications on automatic-speech-recognition (ASR) have a strong focus on attention encoder-decoder (AED) architectures which work well for large datasets, but tend to overfit when applied in low resource scenarios. One solution to tackle this issue is to generate synthetic data with a trained text-to-speech system (TTS) if additional text i...
Preprint
Acoustic modeling of raw waveform and learning feature extractors as part of the neural network classifier has been the goal of many studies in the area of automatic speech recognition (ASR). Recently, one line of research has focused on frameworks that can be pre-trained on audio-only data in an unsupervised fashion and aim at improving downstream...
Preprint
We present our transducer model on Librispeech. We study variants to include an external language model (LM) with shallow fusion and subtract an estimated internal LM. This is justified by a Bayesian interpretation where the transducer model prior is given by the estimated internal LM. The subtraction of the internal LM gives us over 14% relative i...
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Full-text available
High-performance hybrid automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems are often trained with clustered triphone outputs, and thus require a complex training pipeline to generate the clustering. The same complex pipeline is often utilized in order to generate an alignment for use in frame-wise cross-entropy training. In this work, we propose a flat-sta...
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End-to-end models reach state-of-the-art performance for speech recognition, but global soft attention is not monotonic, which might lead to convergence problems, to instability, to bad generalisation, cannot be used for online streaming, and is also inefficient in calculation. Monotonicity can potentially fix all of this. There are several ad-hoc...
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A cascaded speech translation model relies on discrete and non-differentiable transcription, which provides a supervision signal from the source side and helps the transformation between source speech and target text. Such modeling suffers from error propagation between ASR and MT models. Direct speech translation is an alternative method to avoid...
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Neural translation models have proven to be effective in capturing sufficient information from a source sentence and generating a high-quality target sentence. However, it is not easy to get the best effect for bidirectional translation, i.e., both source-to-target and target-to-source translation using a single model. If we exclude some pioneering...
Preprint
Context-aware neural machine translation (NMT) is a promising direction to improve the translation quality by making use of the additional context, e.g., document-level translation, or having meta-information. Although there exist various architectures and analyses, the effectiveness of different context-aware NMT models is not well explored yet. T...
Preprint
To encourage intra-class compactness and inter-class separability among trainable feature vectors, large-margin softmax methods are developed and widely applied in the face recognition community. The introduction of the large-margin concept into the softmax is reported to have good properties such as enhanced discriminative power, less overfitting...
Preprint
Sequence-to-sequence models with an implicit alignment mechanism (e.g. attention) are closing the performance gap towards traditional hybrid hidden Markov models (HMM) for the task of automatic speech recognition. One important factor to improve word error rate in both cases is the use of an external language model (LM) trained on large text-only c...
Preprint
As one popular modeling approach for end-to-end speech recognition, attention-based encoder-decoder models are known to suffer the length bias and corresponding beam problem. Different approaches have been applied in simple beam search to ease the problem, most of which are heuristic-based and require considerable tuning. We show that heuristics ar...
Preprint
The RNN transducer is a promising end-to-end model candidate. We compare the original training criterion with the full marginalization over all alignments, to the commonly used maximum approximation, which simplifies, improves and speeds up our training. We also generalize from the original neural network model and study more powerful models, made...
Preprint
Common end-to-end models like CTC or encoder-decoder-attention models use characters or subword units like BPE as the output labels. We do systematic comparisons between grapheme-based and phoneme-based output labels. These can be single phonemes without context (~40 labels), or multiple phonemes together in one output label, such that we get phone...
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Phoneme-based acoustic modeling of large vocabulary automatic speech recognition takes advantage of phoneme context. The large number of context-dependent (CD) phonemes and their highly varying statistics require tying or smoothing to enable robust training. Usually, Classification and Regression Trees are used for phonetic clustering, which is sta...
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Sparse models require less memory for storage and enable a faster inference by reducing the necessary number of FLOPs. This is relevant both for time-critical and on-device computations using neural networks. The stabilized lottery ticket hypothesis states that networks can be pruned after none or few training iterations, using a mask computed base...
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This paper studies the practicality of the current state-of-the-art unsupervised methods in neural machine translation (NMT). In ten translation tasks with various data settings, we analyze the conditions under which the unsupervised methods fail to produce reasonable translations. We show that their performance is severely affected by linguistic d...
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In hybrid HMM based speech recognition, LSTM language models have been widely applied and achieved large improvements. The theoretical capability of modeling any unlimited context suggests that no recombination should be applied in decoding. This motivates to reconsider full summation over the HMM-state sequences instead of Viterbi approximation in...
Preprint
We present a complete training pipeline to build a state-of-the-art hybrid HMM-based ASR system on the 2nd release of the TED-LIUM corpus. Data augmentation using SpecAugment is successfully applied to improve performance on top of our best SAT model using i-vectors. By investigating the effect of different maskings, we achieve improvements from Sp...
Preprint
Recent advances in text-to-speech (TTS) led to the development of flexible multi-speaker end-to-end TTS systems. We extend state-of-the-art attention-based automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems with synthetic audio generated by a TTS system trained only on the ASR corpora itself. ASR and TTS systems are built separately to show that text-only...