A Connectionist Temporal Classification Loss, or CTC Loss, is designed for tasks where we need alignment between sequences, but where that alignment is difficult - e.g. aligning each character to its location in an audio file. It calculates a loss between a continuous (unsegmented) time series and a target sequence. It does this by summing over the probability of possible alignments of input to target, producing a loss value which is differentiable with respect to each input node. The alignment of input to target is assumed to be “many-to-one”, which limits the length of the target sequence such that it must be $\leq$ the input length.
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