Augmented Embeddings for Custom Retrievals


Information retrieval involves selecting artifacts from a corpus that are most relevant to a given search query. The flavor of retrieval typically used in classical applications can be termed as homogeneous and relaxed, where queries and corpus elements are both natural language (NL) utterances (homogeneous) and the goal is to pick most relevant elements from the corpus in the Top-K, where K is large, such as 10, 25, 50 or even 100 (relaxed). Recently, retrieval is being used extensively in preparing prompts for large language models (LLMs) to enable LLMs to perform targeted tasks. These new applications of retrieval are often heterogeneous and strict – the queries and the corpus contain different kinds of entities, such as NL and code, and there is a need for improving retrieval at Top-K for small values of K, such as K=1 or 3 or 5. Current dense retrieval techniques based on pretrained embeddings provide a general-purpose and powerful approach for retrieval, but they are oblivious to task-specific notions of similarity of heterogeneous artifacts. We introduce Adapted Dense Retrieval, a mechanism to transform embeddings to enable improved task-specific, heterogeneous and strict retrieval. Adapted Dense Retrieval works by learning a low-rank residual adaptation of the pretrained black-box embedding. We empirically validate our approach by showing improvements over the state-of-the-art general-purpose embeddings-based baseline.

Anirudh Khatry
Anirudh Khatry
Research Fellow at Microsoft PROSE

My research interests include Program Synthesis, Formal Verification and Machine Learning.