An Efficient End-to-End Approach to Noise Invariant Speech Features via Multi-Task Learning

Heitor R. Guimarães, Arthur Pimentel, Anderson R. Avila, Mehdi Rezagholizadeh, Boxing Chen, Tiago H. Falk
Electrical Engineering and Systems Science, Audio and Speech Processing, Audio and Speech Processing (eess.AS), Sound (cs.SD)
2024-03-13 00:00:00
Self-supervised speech representation learning enables the extraction of meaningful features from raw waveforms. These features can then be efficiently used across multiple downstream tasks. However, two significant issues arise when considering the deployment of such methods ``in-the-wild": (i) Their large size, which can be prohibitive for edge applications; and (ii) their robustness to detrimental factors, such as noise and/or reverberation, that can heavily degrade the performance of such systems. In this work, we propose RobustDistiller, a novel knowledge distillation mechanism that tackles both problems jointly. Simultaneously to the distillation recipe, we apply a multi-task learning objective to encourage the network to learn noise-invariant representations by denoising the input. The proposed mechanism is evaluated on twelve different downstream tasks. It outperforms several benchmarks regardless of noise type, or noise and reverberation levels. Experimental results show that the new Student model with 23M parameters can achieve results comparable to the Teacher model with 95M parameters. Lastly, we show that the proposed recipe can be applied to other distillation methodologies, such as the recent DPWavLM. For reproducibility, code and model checkpoints will be made available at \mbox{\url{}}.
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