Jean-Pierre Chevrot


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Catplayinginthesnow: Impact of Prior Segmentation on a Model of Visually Grounded Speech
William Havard | Laurent Besacier | Jean-Pierre Chevrot
Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

The language acquisition literature shows that children do not build their lexicon by segmenting the spoken input into phonemes and then building up words from them, but rather adopt a top-down approach and start by segmenting word-like units and then break them down into smaller units. This suggests that the ideal way of learning a language is by starting from full semantic units. In this paper, we investigate if this is also the case for a neural model of Visually Grounded Speech trained on a speech-image retrieval task. We evaluated how well such a network is able to learn a reliable speech-to-image mapping when provided with phone, syllable, or word boundary information. We present a simple way to introduce such information into an RNN-based model and investigate which type of boundary is the most efficient. We also explore at which level of the network’s architecture such information should be introduced so as to maximise its performances. Finally, we show that using multiple boundary types at once in a hierarchical structure, by which low-level segments are used to recompose high-level segments, is beneficial and yields better results than using low-level or high-level segments in isolation.


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Word Recognition, Competition, and Activation in a Model of Visually Grounded Speech
William N. Havard | Jean-Pierre Chevrot | Laurent Besacier
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

In this paper, we study how word-like units are represented and activated in a recurrent neural model of visually grounded speech. The model used in our experiments is trained to project an image and its spoken description in a common representation space. We show that a recurrent model trained on spoken sentences implicitly segments its input into word-like units and reliably maps them to their correct visual referents. We introduce a methodology originating from linguistics to analyse the representation learned by neural networks – the gating paradigm – and show that the correct representation of a word is only activated if the network has access to first phoneme of the target word, suggesting that the network does not rely on a global acoustic pattern. Furthermore, we find out that not all speech frames (MFCC vectors in our case) play an equal role in the final encoded representation of a given word, but that some frames have a crucial effect on it. Finally we suggest that word representation could be activated through a process of lexical competition.