Curriculum Contrastive Context Denoising for Few-shot Conversational Dense Retrieval

Kelong Mao, Zhicheng Dou, Hongjin Qian
2022 Proceedings of the 45th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval  
Conversational search is a crucial and promising branch in information retrieval. In this paper, we reveal that not all historical conversational turns are necessary for understanding the intent of the current query. The redundant noisy turns in the context largely hinder the improvement of search performance. However, enhancing the context denoising ability for conversational search is quite challenging due to data scarcity and the steep difficulty for simultaneously learning conversational
more » ... ry encoding and context denoising. To address these issues, in this paper, we present a novel Curriculum cOntrastive conTExt Denoising framework, COTED, towards few-shot conversational dense retrieval. Under a curriculum training order, we progressively endow the model with the capability of context denoising via contrastive learning between noised samples and denoised samples generated by a new conversation data augmentation strategy. Three curriculums tailored to conversational search are exploited in our framework. Extensive experiments on two few-shot conversational search datasets, i.e., CAsT-19 and CAsT-20, validate the effectiveness and superiority of our method compared with the state-of-the-art baselines.
doi:10.1145/3477495.3531961 fatcat:lrvqeehqknf3lhc7r3f2ogulqy