NAACL 2022
Conference paper

Re2G: Retrieve, Rerank, Generate

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As demonstrated by GPT-3 and T5, transformers grow in capability as parameter spaces become larger and larger. However, for tasks that require a large amount of knowledge, non-parametric memory allows models to grow dramatically with a sub-linear increase in computational cost and GPU memory requirements. Recent models such as RAG and REALM have introduced retrieval into conditional generation. These models incorporate neural initial retrieval from a corpus of passages. We build on this line of research, proposing Re2G, which combines both neural initial retrieval and reranking into a BART-based sequence-to-sequence generation. Our reranking also permits merging retrieval results from sources with incomparable scores, enabling an ensemble of BM25 and neural initial retrieval. To train our system end-to-end, we introduce a novel variation of knowledge distillation to train the initial retrieval, reranker and generation using only ground truth on the target sequence output. We find large gains in three diverse tasks: zero-shot slot filling, fact checking and dialog, with relative gains of 9 to 22 percent over the previous state-of-the-art on the KILT leaderboard.