Towards Robust Text Retrieval with Progressive Learning

20 Nov 2023  ·  Tong Wu, Yulei Qin, Enwei Zhang, Zihan Xu, Yuting Gao, Ke Li, Xing Sun ·

Retrieval augmentation has become an effective solution to empower large language models (LLMs) with external and verified knowledge sources from the database, which overcomes the limitations and hallucinations of LLMs in handling up-to-date and domain-specific information. However, existing embedding models for text retrieval usually have three non-negligible limitations. First, the number and diversity of samples in a batch are too restricted to supervise the modeling of textual nuances at scale. Second, the high proportional noise are detrimental to the semantic correctness and consistency of embeddings. Third, the equal treatment to easy and difficult samples would cause sub-optimum convergence of embeddings with poorer generalization. In this paper, we propose the PEG, a progressively learned embeddings for robust text retrieval. Specifically, we increase the training in-batch negative samples to 80,000, and for each query, we extracted five hard negatives. Concurrently, we incorporated a progressive learning mechanism, enabling the model to dynamically modulate its attention to the samples throughout the entire training process. Additionally, PEG is trained on more than 100 million data, encompassing a wide range of domains (e.g., finance, medicine, and tourism) and covering various tasks (e.g., question-answering, machine reading comprehension, and similarity matching). Extensive experiments conducted on C-MTEB and DuReader demonstrate that PEG surpasses state-of-the-art embeddings in retrieving true positives, highlighting its significant potential for applications in LLMs. Our model is publicly available at

PDF Abstract


Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here