Google Research

Transformer Based Deliberation for Two-Pass Speech Recognition

IEEE Spoken Language Technology Workshop (2021)


Interactive speech recognition systems must generate words quickly while also producing accurate results. Two-pass models excel at these requirements by employing a first-pass decoder that quickly emits words, and a second-pass decoder that requires more context but is more accurate. Previous work has established that deliberation networks can be effective second-pass models. These models accept two kinds of inputs at once: encoded audio frames and the hypothesis text from the first-pass model. In this work, we explore using transformer layers instead of long-short term memory (LSTM) layers for deliberation rescoring. In transformer layers, we generalize the ``encoder-decoder" attention to attend to both encoded audio and first-pass text hypotheses. The output context vectors are then combined by a merger layer. Compared to LSTM-based deliberation, our best transformer deliberation achieves 7% relative word error rate (WER) improvements along with a 38% reduction in computation. We also compare against a non-deliberation transformer rescoring, and find a 9% relative improvement.

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