Multi-talker Speech Separation with Utterance-level Permutation Invariant Training of Deep Recurrent Neural Networks
In this paper we propose the utterance-level Permutation Invariant Training (uPIT) technique. uPIT is a practically applicable, end-to-end, deep learning based solution for speaker independent multi-talker speech separation. Specifically, uPIT extends the recently proposed Permutation Invariant Training (PIT) technique with an utterance-level cost function, hence eliminating the need for solving an additional permutation problem during inference, which is otherwise required by frame-level PIT. We achieve this using Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) that, during training, minimize the utterance-level separation error, hence forcing separated frames belonging to the same speaker to be aligned to the same output stream. In practice, this allows RNNs, trained with uPIT, to separate multi-talker mixed speech without any prior knowledge of signal duration, number of speakers, speaker identity or gender. We evaluated uPIT on the WSJ0 and Danish two- and three-talker mixed-speech separation tasks and found that uPIT outperforms techniques based on Non-negative Matrix Factorization (NMF) and Computational Auditory Scene Analysis (CASA), and compares favorably with Deep Clustering (DPCL) and the Deep Attractor Network (DANet). Furthermore, we found that models trained with uPIT generalize well to unseen speakers and languages. Finally, we found that a single model, trained with uPIT, can handle both two-speaker, and three-speaker speech mixtures.