Sentence-level Prompts Benefit Composed Image Retrieval

Composed image retrieval (CIR) is the task of retrieving specific images by using a query that involves both a reference image and a relative caption. Most existing CIR models adopt the late-fusion strategy to combine visual and language features. Besides, several approaches have also been suggested to generate a pseudo-word token from the reference image, which is further integrated into the relative caption for CIR. However, these pseudo-word-based prompting methods have limitations when target image encompasses complex changes on reference image, e.g., object removal and attribute modification. In this work, we demonstrate that learning an appropriate sentence-level prompt for the relative caption (SPRC) is sufficient for achieving effective composed image retrieval. Instead of relying on pseudo-word-based prompts, we propose to leverage pretrained V-L models, e.g., BLIP-2, to generate sentence-level prompts. By concatenating the learned sentence-level prompt with the relative caption, one can readily use existing text-based image retrieval models to enhance CIR performance. Furthermore, we introduce both image-text contrastive loss and text prompt alignment loss to enforce the learning of suitable sentence-level prompts. Experiments show that our proposed method performs favorably against the state-of-the-art CIR methods on the Fashion-IQ and CIRR datasets. The source code and pretrained model are publicly available at

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Results from the Paper

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Image Retrieval CIRR SPRC (Recall@5+Recall_subset@1)/2 82.6 # 1
Image Retrieval Fashion IQ SPRC (Recall@10+Recall@50)/2 64.85 # 1


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