Thu-2-8-4 Do End-to-End Speech Recognition Models Care About Context?

Lasse Borgholt(University of Copenhagen), Jakob Drachmann Havtorn(Corti ApS), Željko Agić(Corti), Anders Søgaard(University of Copenhagen), Lars Maaløe(Corti) and Christian Igel(University of Copenhagen)
Abstract: The two most common paradigms for end-to-end speech recognition are connectionist temporal classification (CTC) and attention-based encoder-decoder (AED) models. It has been argued that the latter is better suited for learning an implicit language model. We test this hypothesis by measuring temporal context sensitivity and evaluate how the models perform when we constrain the amount of contextual information in the audio input. We find that the AED model is indeed more context sensitive, but that the gap can be closed by adding self-attention to the CTC model. Furthermore, the two models perform similarly when contextual information is constrained. Finally, in contrast to previous research, our results show that the CTC model is highly competitive on WSJ and LibriSpeech without the help of an external language model.
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