Open Implementation and Study of BEST-RQ for Speech Processing

7 May 2024  ·  Ryan Whetten, Titouan Parcollet, Marco Dinarelli, Yannick Estève ·

Self-Supervised Learning (SSL) has proven to be useful in various speech tasks. However, these methods are generally very demanding in terms of data, memory, and computational resources. BERT-based Speech pre-Training with Random-projection Quantizer (BEST-RQ), is an SSL method that has shown great performance on Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) while being simpler than other SSL methods, such as wav2vec 2.0. Despite BEST-RQ's great performance, details are lacking in the original paper, such as the amount of GPU/TPU hours used in pre-training, and there is no official easy-to-use open-source implementation. Furthermore, BEST-RQ has not been evaluated on other downstream tasks aside from ASR and speech translation. In this work, we describe a re-implementation of a Random-projection quantizer and perform a preliminary study with a comparison to wav2vec 2.0 on four downstream tasks. We discuss the details and differences of our implementation. We show that a random projection quantizer can achieve similar downstream performance as wav2vec 2.0 while decreasing training time by over a factor of two.

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