Eidos: An Open-Source Auditory Periphery Modeling Toolkit and Evaluation of Cross-Lingual Phonemic Contrasts

Proc. of 1st Joint Spoken Language Technologies for Under-Resourced Languages (SLTU) and Collaboration and Computing for Under-Resourced Languages (CCURL) Workshop (SLTU-CCURL 2020), European Language Resources Association (ELRA), 11--12 May, Marseille, France, pp. 9-20


Many analytical models that mimic, in varying degree of detail, the basic auditory processes involved in human hearing have been developed over the past decades. While the auditory periphery mechanisms responsible for transducing the sound pressure wave into the auditory nerve discharge are relatively well understood, the models that describe them are usually very complex because they try to faithfully simulate the behavior of several functionally distinct biological units involved in hearing. Because of this, there is a relative scarcity of toolkits that support combining publicly-available auditory models from multiple sources. We address this shortcoming by presenting an open-source auditory toolkit that integrates multiple models of various stages of human auditory processing into a simple and easily configurable pipeline, which supports easy switching between ten available models. The auditory representations that the pipeline produces can serve as machine learning features and provide analytical benchmark for comparing against auditory filters learned from the data. Given a low- and high-resource language pair, we evaluate several auditory representations on a simple multilingual phonemic contrast task to determine whether contrasts that are meaningful within a language are also empirically robust across languages.