Elham J. Barezi

Also published as: Elham J. Barezi


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Automatic Speech Recognition Datasets in Cantonese: A Survey and New Dataset
Tiezheng Yu | Rita Frieske | Peng Xu | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Cheuk Tung Yiu | Holy Lovenia | Wenliang Dai | Elham J. Barezi | Qifeng Chen | Xiaojuan Ma | Bertram Shi | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) on low resource languages improves the access of linguistic minorities to technological advantages provided by artificial intelligence (AI). In this paper, we address the problem of data scarcity for the Hong Kong Cantonese language by creating a new Cantonese dataset. Our dataset, Multi-Domain Cantonese Corpus (MDCC), consists of 73.6 hours of clean read speech paired with transcripts, collected from Cantonese audiobooks from Hong Kong. It comprises philosophy, politics, education, culture, lifestyle and family domains, covering a wide range of topics. We also review all existing Cantonese datasets and analyze them according to their speech type, data source, total size and availability. We further conduct experiments with Fairseq S2T Transformer, a state-of-the-art ASR model, on the biggest existing dataset, Common Voice zh-HK, and our proposed MDCC, and the results show the effectiveness of our dataset. In addition, we create a powerful and robust Cantonese ASR model by applying multi-dataset learning on MDCC and Common Voice zh-HK.

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CI-AVSR: A Cantonese Audio-Visual Speech Datasetfor In-car Command Recognition
Wenliang Dai | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Tiezheng Yu | Elham J. Barezi | Peng Xu | Cheuk Tung Yiu | Rita Frieske | Holy Lovenia | Genta Winata | Qifeng Chen | Xiaojuan Ma | Bertram Shi | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

With the rise of deep learning and intelligent vehicles, the smart assistant has become an essential in-car component to facilitate driving and provide extra functionalities. In-car smart assistants should be able to process general as well as car-related commands and perform corresponding actions, which eases driving and improves safety. However, there is a data scarcity issue for low resource languages, hindering the development of research and applications. In this paper, we introduce a new dataset, Cantonese In-car Audio-Visual Speech Recognition (CI-AVSR), for in-car command recognition in the Cantonese language with both video and audio data. It consists of 4,984 samples (8.3 hours) of 200 in-car commands recorded by 30 native Cantonese speakers. Furthermore, we augment our dataset using common in-car background noises to simulate real environments, producing a dataset 10 times larger than the collected one. We provide detailed statistics of both the clean and the augmented versions of our dataset. Moreover, we implement two multimodal baselines to demonstrate the validity of CI-AVSR. Experiment results show that leveraging the visual signal improves the overall performance of the model. Although our best model can achieve a considerable quality on the clean test set, the speech recognition quality on the noisy data is still inferior and remains an extremely challenging task for real in-car speech recognition systems. The dataset and code will be released at https://github.com/HLTCHKUST/CI-AVSR.

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ASCEND: A Spontaneous Chinese-English Dataset for Code-switching in Multi-turn Conversation
Holy Lovenia | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Genta Winata | Peng Xu | Yan Xu | Zihan Liu | Rita Frieske | Tiezheng Yu | Wenliang Dai | Elham J. Barezi | Qifeng Chen | Xiaojuan Ma | Bertram Shi | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Code-switching is a speech phenomenon occurring when a speaker switches language during a conversation. Despite the spontaneous nature of code-switching in conversational spoken language, most existing works collect code-switching data from read speech instead of spontaneous speech. ASCEND (A Spontaneous Chinese-English Dataset) is a high-quality Mandarin Chinese-English code-switching corpus built on spontaneous multi-turn conversational dialogue sources collected in Hong Kong. We report ASCEND’s design and procedure for collecting the speech data, including annotations. ASCEND consists of 10.62 hours of clean speech, collected from 23 bilingual speakers of Chinese and English. Furthermore, we conduct baseline experiments using pre-trained wav2vec 2.0 models, achieving a best performance of 22.69% character error rate and 27.05% mixed error rate.


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Modality-based Factorization for Multimodal Fusion
Elham J. Barezi | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2019)

We propose a novel method, Modality-based Redundancy Reduction Fusion (MRRF), for understanding and modulating the relative contribution of each modality in multimodal inference tasks. This is achieved by obtaining an (M+1)-way tensor to consider the high-order relationships between M modalities and the output layer of a neural network model. Applying a modality-based tensor factorization method, which adopts different factors for different modalities, results in removing information present in a modality that can be compensated by other modalities, with respect to model outputs. This helps to understand the relative utility of information in each modality. In addition it leads to a less complicated model with less parameters and therefore could be applied as a regularizer avoiding overfitting. We have applied this method to three different multimodal datasets in sentiment analysis, personality trait recognition, and emotion recognition. We are able to recognize relationships and relative importance of different modalities in these tasks and achieves a 1% to 4% improvement on several evaluation measures compared to the state-of-the-art for all three tasks.

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A Submodular Feature-Aware Framework for Label Subset Selection in Extreme Classification Problems
Elham J. Barezi | Ian D. Wood | Pascale Fung | Hamid R. Rabiee
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Extreme classification is a classification task on an extremely large number of labels (tags). User generated labels for any type of online data can be sparing per individual user but intractably large among all users. It would be useful to automatically select a smaller, standard set of labels to represent the whole label set. We can then solve efficiently the problem of multi-label learning with an intractably large number of interdependent labels, such as automatic tagging of Wikipedia pages. We propose a submodular maximization framework with linear cost to find informative labels which are most relevant to other labels yet least redundant with each other. A simple prediction model can then be trained on this label subset. Our framework includes both label-label and label-feature dependencies, which aims to find the labels with the most representation and prediction ability. In addition, to avoid information loss, we extract and predict outlier labels with weak dependency on other labels. We apply our model to four standard natural language data sets including Bibsonomy entries with users assigned tags, web pages with user assigned tags, legal texts with EUROVOC descriptors(A topic hierarchy with almost 4000 categories regarding different aspects of European law) and Wikipedia pages with tags from social bookmarking as well as news videos for automated label detection from a lexicon of semantic concepts. Experimental results show that our proposed approach improves label prediction quality, in terms of precision and nDCG, by 3% to 5% in three of the 5 tasks and is competitive in the others, even with a simple linear prediction model. An ablation study shows how different data sets benefit from different aspects of our model, with all aspects contributing substantially to at least one data set.


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Investigating Audio, Video, and Text Fusion Methods for End-to-End Automatic Personality Prediction
Onno Kampman | Elham J. Barezi | Dario Bertero | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We propose a tri-modal architecture to predict Big Five personality trait scores from video clips with different channels for audio, text, and video data. For each channel, stacked Convolutional Neural Networks are employed. The channels are fused both on decision-level and by concatenating their respective fully connected layers. It is shown that a multimodal fusion approach outperforms each single modality channel, with an improvement of 9.4% over the best individual modality (video). Full backpropagation is also shown to be better than a linear combination of modalities, meaning complex interactions between modalities can be leveraged to build better models. Furthermore, we can see the prediction relevance of each modality for each trait. The described model can be used to increase the emotional intelligence of virtual agents.