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Federated learning can be used to train machine learning models on the edge on local data that never leave devices, providing privacy by default. This presents a challenge pertaining to the communication and computation costs associated with clients’ devices. These costs are strongly correlated with the size of the model being trained, and are significant for state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition models.We propose using federated dropout to reduce the size of client models while training a full-size model server-side.

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The recently proposed conformer architecture has been successfully used for end-to-end automatic speech recognition (ASR) architectures achieving state-of-the-art performance on different datasets. To our best knowledge, the impact of using conformer acoustic model for hybrid ASR is not investigated. In this paper, we present and evaluate a competitive conformer-based hybrid model training recipe. We study different training aspects and methods to improve worderror-rate as well as to increase training speed.

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Transformer-based architectures have been the subject of research aimed at understanding their overparameterization and the non-uniform importance of their layers. Applying these approaches to Automatic Speech Recognition, we demonstrate that the state-of-the-art Conformer models generally have multiple ambient layers. We study the stability of these layers across runs and model sizes, propose that group normalization may be used without disrupting their formation, and examine their correlation with model weight updates in each layer.

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This paper describes our RoyalFlush system for the track of multi-speaker automatic speech recognition (ASR) in the M2MeT challenge. We adopted the serialized output training (SOT) based multi-speakers ASR system with large-scale simulation data. Firstly, we investigated a set of front-end methods, including multi-channel weighted predicted error (WPE), beamforming, speech separation, speech enhancement and so on, to process training, validation and test sets. But we only selected WPE and beamforming as our frontend methods according to their experimental results.

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End-to-End (E2E) approach, which maps a sequence of input features into a sequence of grapheme or words, to Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is a hot research agenda. It is interesting for less-resourced languages since it avoids the use of pronunciation dictionary, which is one of the major components in the traditional ASR systems. However, like any deep neural network (DNN) approaches, E2E is data greedy. This makes the application of E2E to less-resourced languages questionable.

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Modern wake word detection systems usually rely on neural networks for acoustic modeling. Transformers has recently shown superior performance over LSTM and convolutional networks in various sequence modeling tasks with their better temporal modeling power. However it is not clear whether this advantage still holds for short-range temporal modeling like wake word detection. Besides, the vanilla Transformer is not directly applicable to the task due to its non-streaming nature and the quadratic time and space complexity.

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