Latent Sequence Decompositions

William Chan, Yu Zhang, Quoc Le, Navdeep Jaitly

Nov 04, 2016 (modified: Feb 07, 2017) ICLR 2017 conference submission readers: everyone
  • Abstract: Sequence-to-sequence models rely on a fixed decomposition of the target sequences into a sequence of tokens that may be words, word-pieces or characters. The choice of these tokens and the decomposition of the target sequences into a sequence of tokens is often static, and independent of the input, output data domains. This can potentially lead to a sub-optimal choice of token dictionaries, as the decomposition is not informed by the particular problem being solved. In this paper we present Latent Sequence Decompositions (LSD), a framework in which the decomposition of sequences into constituent tokens is learnt during the training of the model. The decomposition depends both on the input sequence and on the output sequence. In LSD, during training, the model samples decompositions incrementally, from left to right by locally sampling between valid extensions. We experiment with the Wall Street Journal speech recognition task. Our LSD model achieves 12.9% WER compared to a character baseline of 14.8% WER. When combined with a convolutional network on the encoder, we achieve a WER of 9.6%.
  • Keywords: Speech, Applications, Natural language processing, Deep learning
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