Albert Zeyer


On Using SpecAugment for End-to-End Speech Translation
Parnia Bahar | Albert Zeyer | Ralf Schlüter | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This work investigates a simple data augmentation technique, SpecAugment, for end-to-end speech translation. SpecAugment is a low-cost implementation method applied directly to the audio input features and it consists of masking blocks of frequency channels, and/or time steps. We apply SpecAugment on end-to-end speech translation tasks and achieve up to +2.2% BLEU on LibriSpeech Audiobooks En→Fr and +1.2% on IWSLT TED-talks En→De by alleviating overfitting to some extent. We also examine the effectiveness of the method in a variety of data scenarios and show that the method also leads to significant improvements in various data conditions irrespective of the amount of training data.


Neural Speech Translation at AppTek
Evgeny Matusov | Patrick Wilken | Parnia Bahar | Julian Schamper | Pavel Golik | Albert Zeyer | Joan Albert Silvestre-Cerda | Adrià Martínez-Villaronga | Hendrik Pesch | Jan-Thorsten Peter
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This work describes AppTek’s speech translation pipeline that includes strong state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition (ASR) and neural machine translation (NMT) components. We show how these components can be tightly coupled by encoding ASR confusion networks, as well as ASR-like noise adaptation, vocabulary normalization, and implicit punctuation prediction during translation. In another experimental setup, we propose a direct speech translation approach that can be scaled to translation tasks with large amounts of text-only parallel training data but a limited number of hours of recorded and human-translated speech.

RETURNN as a Generic Flexible Neural Toolkit with Application to Translation and Speech Recognition
Albert Zeyer | Tamer Alkhouli | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of ACL 2018, System Demonstrations

We compare the fast training and decoding speed of RETURNN of attention models for translation, due to fast CUDA LSTM kernels, and a fast pure TensorFlow beam search decoder. We show that a layer-wise pretraining scheme for recurrent attention models gives over 1% BLEU improvement absolute and it allows to train deeper recurrent encoder networks. Promising preliminary results on max. expected BLEU training are presented. We are able to train state-of-the-art models for translation and end-to-end models for speech recognition and show results on WMT 2017 and Switchboard. The flexibility of RETURNN allows a fast research feedback loop to experiment with alternative architectures, and its generality allows to use it on a wide range of applications.