Semi-Autoregressive Streaming ASR With Label Context

19 Sep 2023  ·  Siddhant Arora, George Saon, Shinji Watanabe, Brian Kingsbury ·

Non-autoregressive (NAR) modeling has gained significant interest in speech processing since these models achieve dramatically lower inference time than autoregressive (AR) models while also achieving good transcription accuracy. Since NAR automatic speech recognition (ASR) models must wait for the completion of the entire utterance before processing, some works explore streaming NAR models based on blockwise attention for low-latency applications. However, streaming NAR models significantly lag in accuracy compared to streaming AR and non-streaming NAR models. To address this, we propose a streaming "semi-autoregressive" ASR model that incorporates the labels emitted in previous blocks as additional context using a Language Model (LM) subnetwork. We also introduce a novel greedy decoding algorithm that addresses insertion and deletion errors near block boundaries while not significantly increasing the inference time. Experiments show that our method outperforms the existing streaming NAR model by 19% relative on Tedlium2, 16%/8% on Librispeech-100 clean/other test sets, and 19%/8% on the Switchboard(SWB)/Callhome(CH) test sets. It also reduced the accuracy gap with streaming AR and non-streaming NAR models while achieving 2.5x lower latency. We also demonstrate that our approach can effectively utilize external text data to pre-train the LM subnetwork to further improve streaming ASR accuracy.

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