DNN acoustic modeling with modular multi-lingual feature extraction networks
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In this work, we propose several deep neural network architectures that are able to leverage data from multiple languages. Modularity is achieved by training networks for extracting high-level features and for estimating phoneme state posteriors separately, and then combining them for decoding in a hybrid DNN/HMM setup. This approach has been shown to achieve superior performance for single-language systems, and here we demonstrate that feature extractors benefit significantly from being trained as multi-lingual networks with shared hidden representations. We also show that existing mono-lingual networks can be re-used in a modular fashion to achieve a similar level of performance without having to train new networks on multi-lingual data. Furthermore, we investigate in extending these architectures to make use of language-specific acoustic features. Evaluations are performed on a low-resource conversational telephone speech transcription task in Vietnamese, while additional data for acoustic model training is provided in Pashto, Tagalog, Turkish, and Cantonese. Improvements of up to 17.4% and 13.8% over mono-lingual GMMs and DNNs, respectively, are obtained.