InterSpeech 2021

Residual Energy-Based Models for End-to-End Speech Recognition
(3 minutes introduction)

Qiujia Li (University of Cambridge, UK), Yu Zhang (Google, USA), Bo Li (Google, USA), Liangliang Cao (Google, USA), Philip C. Woodland (University of Cambridge, UK)
End-to-end models with auto-regressive decoders have shown impressive results for automatic speech recognition (ASR). These models formulate the sequence-level probability as a product of the conditional probabilities of all individual tokens given their histories. However, the performance of locally normalised models can be sub-optimal because of factors such as exposure bias. Consequently, the model distribution differs from the underlying data distribution. In this paper, the residual energy-based model (R-EBM) is proposed to complement the auto-regressive ASR model to close the gap between the two distributions. Meanwhile, R-EBMs can also be regarded as utterance-level confidence estimators, which may benefit many downstream tasks. Experiments on a 100hr LibriSpeech dataset show that R-EBMs can reduce the word error rates (WERs) by 8.2%/6.7% while improving areas under precision-recall curves of confidence scores by 12.6%/28.4% on test-clean/test-other sets. Furthermore, on a state-of-the-art model using self-supervised learning (wav2vec 2.0), R-EBMs still significantly improves both the WER and confidence estimation performance.