|Wei Zhou (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Mohammad Zeineldeen (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Zuoyun Zheng (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Ralf Schlüter (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Hermann Ney (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)|
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 acoustic-oriented label design and learning process, ADSM produces acoustic-structured subword units and acoustic-matched target sequence for further ASR training. The obtained ADSM labels are evaluated with different end-to-end ASR approaches including CTC, RNN-Transducer and attention models. Experiments on the LibriSpeech corpus show that ADSM clearly outperforms both byte pair encoding (BPE) and pronunciation-assisted subword modeling (PASM) in all cases. Detailed analysis shows that ADSM achieves acoustically more logical word segmentation and more balanced sequence length, and thus, is suitable for both time-synchronous and label-synchronous models. We also briefly describe how to apply acoustic-based subword regularization and unseen text segmentation using ADSM.