Hirofumi Inaguma


ESPnet-ST IWSLT 2021 Offline Speech Translation System
Hirofumi Inaguma | Brian Yan | Siddharth Dalmia | Pengcheng Guo | Jiatong Shi | Kevin Duh | Shinji Watanabe
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

This paper describes the ESPnet-ST group’s IWSLT 2021 submission in the offline speech translation track. This year we made various efforts on training data, architecture, and audio segmentation. On the data side, we investigated sequence-level knowledge distillation (SeqKD) for end-to-end (E2E) speech translation. Specifically, we used multi-referenced SeqKD from multiple teachers trained on different amounts of bitext. On the architecture side, we adopted the Conformer encoder and the Multi-Decoder architecture, which equips dedicated decoders for speech recognition and translation tasks in a unified encoder-decoder model and enables search in both source and target language spaces during inference. We also significantly improved audio segmentation by using the pyannote.audio toolkit and merging multiple short segments for long context modeling. Experimental evaluations showed that each of them contributed to large improvements in translation performance. Our best E2E system combined all the above techniques with model ensembling and achieved 31.4 BLEU on the 2-ref of tst2021 and 21.2 BLEU and 19.3 BLEU on the two single references of tst2021.

Source and Target Bidirectional Knowledge Distillation for End-to-end Speech Translation
Hirofumi Inaguma | Tatsuya Kawahara | Shinji Watanabe
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

A conventional approach to improving the performance of end-to-end speech translation (E2E-ST) models is to leverage the source transcription via pre-training and joint training with automatic speech recognition (ASR) and neural machine translation (NMT) tasks. However, since the input modalities are different, it is difficult to leverage source language text successfully. In this work, we focus on sequence-level knowledge distillation (SeqKD) from external text-based NMT models. To leverage the full potential of the source language information, we propose backward SeqKD, SeqKD from a target-to-source backward NMT model. To this end, we train a bilingual E2E-ST model to predict paraphrased transcriptions as an auxiliary task with a single decoder. The paraphrases are generated from the translations in bitext via back-translation. We further propose bidirectional SeqKD in which SeqKD from both forward and backward NMT models is combined. Experimental evaluations on both autoregressive and non-autoregressive models show that SeqKD in each direction consistently improves the translation performance, and the effectiveness is complementary regardless of the model capacity.


ESPnet-ST: All-in-One Speech Translation Toolkit
Hirofumi Inaguma | Shun Kiyono | Kevin Duh | Shigeki Karita | Nelson Yalta | Tomoki Hayashi | Shinji Watanabe
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

We present ESPnet-ST, which is designed for the quick development of speech-to-speech translation systems in a single framework. ESPnet-ST is a new project inside end-to-end speech processing toolkit, ESPnet, which integrates or newly implements automatic speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech functions for speech translation. We provide all-in-one recipes including data pre-processing, feature extraction, training, and decoding pipelines for a wide range of benchmark datasets. Our reproducible results can match or even outperform the current state-of-the-art performances; these pre-trained models are downloadable. The toolkit is publicly available at https://github.com/espnet/espnet.


ESPnet How2 Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2019: Pre-training, Knowledge Distillation, and Going Deeper
Hirofumi Inaguma | Shun Kiyono | Nelson Enrique Yalta Soplin | Jun Suzuki | Kevin Duh | Shinji Watanabe
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes the ESPnet submissions to the How2 Speech Translation task at IWSLT2019. In this year, we mainly build our systems based on Transformer architectures in all tasks and focus on the end-to-end speech translation (E2E-ST). We first compare RNN-based models and Transformer, and then confirm Transformer models significantly and consistently outperform RNN models in all tasks and corpora. Next, we investigate pre-training of E2E-ST models with the ASR and MT tasks. On top of the pre-training, we further explore knowledge distillation from the NMT model and the deeper speech encoder, and confirm drastic improvements over the baseline model. All of our codes are publicly available in ESPnet.


The JHU/KyotoU Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2018
Hirofumi Inaguma | Xuan Zhang | Zhiqi Wang | Adithya Renduchintala | Shinji Watanabe | Kevin Duh
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and Kyoto University submissions to the Speech Translation evaluation campaign at IWSLT2018. Our end-to-end speech translation systems are based on ESPnet and implements an attention-based encoder-decoder model. As comparison, we also experiment with a pipeline system that uses independent neural network systems for both the speech transcription and text translation components. We find that a transfer learning approach that bootstraps the end-to-end speech translation system with speech transcription system’s parameters is important for training on small datasets.