End-to-End Neural Transformer Based Spoken Language Understanding

Martin Radfar, Athanasios Mouchtaris, Siegfried Kunzmann

Spoken language understanding (SLU) refers to the process of inferring the semantic information from audio signals. While the neural transformers consistently deliver the best performance among the state-of-the-art neural architectures in field of natural language processing (NLP), their merits in a closely related field, i.e., spoken language understanding (SLU) have not been investigated. In this paper, we introduce an end-to-end neural transformer-based SLU model that can predict the variable-length domain, intent, and slots vectors embedded in an audio signal with no intermediate token prediction architecture. This new architecture leverages the self-attention mechanism by which the audio signal is transformed to various sub-subspaces allowing to extract the semantic context implied by an utterance. Our end-to-end transformer SLU predicts the domains, intents and slots in the Fluent Speech Commands dataset with accuracy equal to 98.1%, 99.6%, and 99.6%, respectively and outperforms the SLU models that leverage a combination of recurrent and convolutional neural networks by 1.4% while the size of our model is 25% smaller than that of these architectures. Additionally, due to independent sub-space projections in the self-attention layer, the model is highly parallelizable which makes it a good candidate for on-device SLU.

 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-1963

Cite as: Radfar, M., Mouchtaris, A., Kunzmann, S. (2020) End-to-End Neural Transformer Based Spoken Language Understanding. Proc. Interspeech 2020, 866-870, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2020-1963.

  author={Martin Radfar and Athanasios Mouchtaris and Siegfried Kunzmann},
  title={{End-to-End Neural Transformer Based Spoken Language Understanding}},
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2020},