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Distance-based vector database retrieval embeds (represents) queries in high-dimensional space and finds similar embedded documents based on "distance". But, retrieval may produce different results with subtle changes in query wording or if the embeddings do not capture the semantics of the data well. Prompt engineering / tuning is sometimes done to manually address these problems, but can be tedious.

The MultiQueryRetriever automates the process of prompt tuning by using an LLM to generate multiple queries from different perspectives for a given user input query. For each query, it retrieves a set of relevant documents and takes the unique union across all queries to get a larger set of potentially relevant documents. By generating multiple perspectives on the same question, the MultiQueryRetriever might be able to overcome some of the limitations of the distance-based retrieval and get a richer set of results.

# Build a sample vectorDB
from langchain_chroma import Chroma
from langchain_community.document_loaders import WebBaseLoader
from langchain_openai import OpenAIEmbeddings
from langchain_text_splitters import RecursiveCharacterTextSplitter

# Load blog post
loader = WebBaseLoader("")
data = loader.load()

# Split
text_splitter = RecursiveCharacterTextSplitter(chunk_size=500, chunk_overlap=0)
splits = text_splitter.split_documents(data)

# VectorDB
embedding = OpenAIEmbeddings()
vectordb = Chroma.from_documents(documents=splits, embedding=embedding)

Simple usage

Specify the LLM to use for query generation, and the retriever will do the rest.

from langchain.retrievers.multi_query import MultiQueryRetriever
from langchain_openai import ChatOpenAI

question = "What are the approaches to Task Decomposition?"
llm = ChatOpenAI(temperature=0)
retriever_from_llm = MultiQueryRetriever.from_llm(
retriever=vectordb.as_retriever(), llm=llm
# Set logging for the queries
import logging

unique_docs = retriever_from_llm.invoke(question)
INFO:langchain.retrievers.multi_query:Generated queries: ['1. How can Task Decomposition be approached?', '2. What are the different methods for Task Decomposition?', '3. What are the various approaches to decomposing tasks?']

Supplying your own prompt

You can also supply a prompt along with an output parser to split the results into a list of queries.

from typing import List

from langchain.chains import LLMChain
from langchain.output_parsers import PydanticOutputParser
from langchain_core.prompts import PromptTemplate
from pydantic import BaseModel, Field

# Output parser will split the LLM result into a list of queries
class LineList(BaseModel):
# "lines" is the key (attribute name) of the parsed output
lines: List[str] = Field(description="Lines of text")

class LineListOutputParser(PydanticOutputParser):
def __init__(self) -> None:

def parse(self, text: str) -> LineList:
lines = text.strip().split("\n")
return LineList(lines=lines)

output_parser = LineListOutputParser()

QUERY_PROMPT = PromptTemplate(
template="""You are an AI language model assistant. Your task is to generate five
different versions of the given user question to retrieve relevant documents from a vector
database. By generating multiple perspectives on the user question, your goal is to help
the user overcome some of the limitations of the distance-based similarity search.
Provide these alternative questions separated by newlines.
Original question: {question}""",
llm = ChatOpenAI(temperature=0)

# Chain
llm_chain = LLMChain(llm=llm, prompt=QUERY_PROMPT, output_parser=output_parser)

# Other inputs
question = "What are the approaches to Task Decomposition?"
# Run
retriever = MultiQueryRetriever(
retriever=vectordb.as_retriever(), llm_chain=llm_chain, parser_key="lines"
) # "lines" is the key (attribute name) of the parsed output

# Results
unique_docs = retriever.invoke(query="What does the course say about regression?")
INFO:langchain.retrievers.multi_query:Generated queries: ["1. What is the course's perspective on regression?", '2. Can you provide information on regression as discussed in the course?', '3. How does the course cover the topic of regression?', "4. What are the course's teachings on regression?", '5. In relation to the course, what is mentioned about regression?']

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