The embedding-based large-scale query-document retrieval problem is a hot topic in the information retrieval (IR) field. Considering that pre-trained language models like BERT have achieved great success in a wide variety of NLP tasks, we present a QuadrupletBERT model for effective and efficient retrieval in this paper. Unlike most existing BERT-style retrieval models, which only focus on the ranking phase in retrieval systems, our model makes considerable improvements to the retrieval phase and leverages the distances between simple negative and hard negative instances to obtaining better embeddings. Experimental results demonstrate that our QuadrupletBERT achieves state-of-the-art results in embedding-based large-scale retrieval tasks.
Current embedding-based large-scale retrieval models are trained with 0-1 hard label that indicates whether a query is relevant to a document, ignoring rich information of the relevance degree. This paper proposes to improve embedding-based retrieval from the perspective of better characterizing the query-document relevance degree by introducing label enhancement (LE) for the first time. To generate label distribution in the retrieval scenario, we design a novel and effective supervised LE method that incorporates prior knowledge from dynamic term weighting methods into contextual embeddings. Our method significantly outperforms four competitive existing retrieval models and its counterparts equipped with two alternative LE techniques by training models with the generated label distribution as auxiliary supervision information. The superiority can be easily observed on English and Chinese large-scale retrieval tasks under both standard and cold-start settings.