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End-to-end speech emotion recognition using a novel context-stacking dilated convolution neural network

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Amongst the various characteristics of a speech signal, the expression of emotion is one of the characteristics that exhibits the slowest temporal dynamics. Hence, a performant speech emotion recognition (SER) system requires a predictive model that is capable of learning sufficiently long temporal dependencies in the analysed speech signal. Therefore, in this work, we propose a novel end-to-end neural network architecture based on the concept of dilated causal convolution with context stacking. Firstly, the proposed model consists only of parallelisable layers and is hence suitable for parallel processing, while avoiding the inherent lack of parallelisability occurring with recurrent neural network (RNN) layers. Secondly, the design of a dedicated dilated causal convolution block allows the model to have a receptive field as large as the input sequence length, while maintaining a reasonably low computational cost. Thirdly, by introducing a context stacking structure, the proposed model is capable of exploiting long-term temporal dependencies hence providing an alternative to the use of RNN layers. We evaluate the proposed model in SER regression and classification tasks and provide a comparison with a state-of-the-art end-to-end SER model. Experimental results indicate that the proposed model requires only 1/3 of the number of model parameters used in the state-of-the-art model, while also significantly improving SER performance. Further experiments are reported to understand the impact of using various types of input representations (i.e. raw audio samples vs log mel-spectrograms) and to illustrate the benefits of an end-to-end approach over the use of hand-crafted audio features. Moreover, we show that the proposed model can efficiently learn intermediate embeddings preserving speech emotion information.
Tijdschrift: EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech and Music Processing
ISSN: 1687-4722
Issue: 1
Volume: 2021
Pagina's: 1 - 16
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Toegankelijkheid:Open