Jochen Weiner


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Towards Automatic Transcription of ILSE ― an Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study of Adult Development and Aging
Jochen Weiner | Claudia Frankenberg | Dominic Telaar | Britta Wendelstein | Johannes Schröder | Tanja Schultz
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

The Interdisciplinary Longitudinal Study on Adult Development and Aging (ILSE) was created to facilitate the study of challenges posed by rapidly aging societies in developed countries such as Germany. ILSE contains over 8,000 hours of biographic interviews recorded from more than 1,000 participants over the course of 20 years. Investigations on various aspects of aging, such as cognitive decline, often rely on the analysis of linguistic features which can be derived from spoken content like these interviews. However, transcribing speech is a time and cost consuming manual process and so far only 380 hours of ILSE interviews have been transcribed. Thus, it is the aim of our work to establish technical systems to fully automatically transcribe the ILSE interview data. The joint occurrence of poor recording quality, long audio segments, erroneous transcriptions, varying speaking styles & crosstalk, and emotional & dialectal speech in these interviews presents challenges for automatic speech recognition (ASR). We describe our ongoing work towards the fully automatic transcription of all ILSE interviews and the steps we implemented in preparing the transcriptions to meet the interviews’ challenges. Using a recursive long audio alignment procedure 96 hours of the transcribed data have been made accessible for ASR training.


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Analyzing the potential of source sentence reordering in statistical machine translation
Teresa Herrmann | Jochen Weiner | Jan Niehues | Alex Waibel
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation: Papers

We analyze the performance of source sentence reordering, a common reordering approach, using oracle experiments on German-English and English-German translation. First, we show that the potential of this approach is very promising. Compared to a monotone translation, the optimally reordered source sentence leads to improvements of up to 4.6 and 6.2 BLEU points, depending on the language. Furthermore, we perform a detailed evaluation of the different aspects of the approach. We analyze the impact of the restriction of the search space by reordering lattices and we can show that using more complex rule types for reordering results in better approximation of the optimally reordered source. However, a gap of about 3 to 3.8 BLEU points remains, presenting a promising perspective for research on extending the search space through better reordering rules. When evaluating the ranking of different reordering variants, the results reveal that the search for the best path in the lattice performs very well for German-English translation. For English-German translation there is potential for an improvement of up to 1.4 BLEU points through a better ranking of the different reordering possibilities in the reordering lattice.