Key Frame Mechanism For Efficient Conformer Based End-to-end Speech Recognition

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Key Frame Mechanism For Efficient Conformer Based End-to-end Speech Recognition


Peng Fan, Changhao Shan, Jianwei Zhang, Sining Sun, Qing Yang


Recently, Conformer as a backbone network for end-to-end automatic speech recognition achieved state-of-the-art performance. The Conformer block leverages a self-attention mechanism to capture global information, along with a convolutional neural network to capture local information, resulting in improved performance. However, the Conformer-based model encounters an issue with the self-attention mechanism, as computational complexity grows quadratically with the length of the input sequence. Inspired by previous Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) guided blank skipping during decoding, we introduce intermediate CTC outputs as guidance into the downsampling procedure of the Conformer encoder. We define the frame with non-blank output as key frame. Specifically, we introduce the key frame-based self-attention (KFSA) mechanism, a novel method to reduce the computation of the self-attention mechanism using key frames. The structure of our proposed approach comprises two encoders. Following the initial encoder, we introduce an intermediate CTC loss function to compute the label frame, enabling us to extract the key frames and blank frames for KFSA. Furthermore, we introduce the key frame-based downsampling (KFDS) mechanism to operate on high-dimensional acoustic features directly and drop the frames corresponding to blank labels, which results in new acoustic feature sequences as input to the second encoder. By using the proposed method, which achieves comparable or higher performance than vanilla Conformer and other similar work such as Efficient Conformer. Meantime, our proposed method can discard more than 60\% useless frames during model training and inference, which will accelerate the inference speed significantly. This work code is available in {}

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