Search-in-the-Chain: Interactively Enhancing Large Language Models with Search for Knowledge-intensive Tasks

Search-in-the-Chain: Interactively Enhancing Large Language Models with Search for Knowledge-intensive Tasks
Do not index
Do not index
Original Paper
Making the content generated by Large Language Model (LLM), accurate, credible and traceable is crucial, especially in complex knowledge-intensive tasks that require multi-step reasoning and each step needs knowledge to solve. Retrieval-augmented generation is good potential to solve this problem. However, where and how to introduce Information Retrieval (IR) to LLM is a big challenge. Previous work has the problems that wrong knowledge retrieved by IR misleads the LLM and interaction between IR and LLM breaks the reasoning chain of LLM. This paper proposes a novel framework named \textbf{Search-in-the-Chain} (SearChain) for the interaction between LLM and IR to solve the challenges. First, LLM generates the reasoning chain named Chain-of-Query (CoQ) where each node consists of an IR-oriented query-answer pair. Second, IR verifies the answer of each node of CoQ. It corrects the answer that is not consistent with the retrieved information when IR gives high confidence, which improves the credibility. Third, LLM can indicate its missing knowledge in CoQ and rely on IR to provide this knowledge to LLM. These operations improve the accuracy in terms of reasoning and knowledge. Finally, SearChain generates the reasoning process and marks references to supporting documents for each reasoning step, which improves traceability. Interaction with IR in SearChain forms a novel reasoning path based on a tree, which enables LLM to dynamically modify the direction of reasoning. Experiments show that SearChain outperforms state-of-the-art baselines on complex knowledge-intensive tasks including multi-hop Q\&A, slot filling, fact checking, and long-form Q\&A.

Summary Notes

Enhancing AI with SearChain Framework: A Game-Changer for Multi-Step Reasoning

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more integral to technology, the need for advanced Large Language Models (LLMs) is undeniable.
The SearChain Framework emerges as a revolutionary tool, boosting LLMs' abilities to handle complex tasks through enhanced multi-step reasoning.
This advancement not only pushes the boundaries of AI's capabilities but also brings us closer to models that resemble human thought processes.

Inside the SearChain Framework

The SearChain Framework introduces a new approach to processing complex queries in LLMs, comprising:
  • Chain-of-Query (CoQ) Generation: The foundation of the SearChain, enabling the LLM to build a series of connected query-answer pairs for logical reasoning.
  • Verification and Completion by Information Retrieval (IR): This step ensures the answers are accurate and credible by verifying them through IR, improving the model's reliability.
  • Tracing: Each reasoning step is traceable to supporting documents, increasing the content's trustworthiness.
  • Dynamic Reasoning Path: The framework dynamically adjusts its reasoning path, allowing flexibility as contexts change or new information arises.

Innovations of the SearChain Framework

The SearChain Framework stands out with several key innovations:
  • Global Reasoning Chain (CoQ): Ensures coherent reasoning across multiple steps.
  • Verification and Completion Mechanisms: Boost the accuracy and credibility of outputs.
  • Tracing Supporting Documents: Enhances traceability, aiding in fact-checking.
  • Dynamic Reasoning Path: Provides adaptability in reasoning, catering to evolving information.

Performance and Methodology

SearChain has excelled in complex reasoning tasks like multi-hop Q&A and fact checking. Its methodology combines in-context learning for CoQ generation with IR for verification, significantly improving reasoning and content reliability.
The framework utilizes a node-identify Depth-first Search (DFS) for a flexible and in-depth reasoning process, addressing the intricate needs of knowledge-intensive tasks.

Contributions and Future Outlook

SearChain significantly enhances LLMs by integrating IR for improved knowledge reasoning. This breakthrough not only elevates performance in complex tasks but also broadens LLM applications across various sectors.
The potential of SearChain is vast, promising advancements in AI-driven tools and decision-making systems.


The SearChain Framework marks a pivotal advancement in Large Language Models, elevating their reasoning capabilities and ensuring content accuracy and credibility.
This development signals a new era in AI, where models can more closely mimic human reasoning, fostering innovation across fields.
Supported by leading institutions and thorough research, SearChain is not just a milestone in AI progress but a guidepost towards more sophisticated and reliable artificial intelligence.
Further insights and detailed case studies on the SearChain Framework are available in the appendix and additional resources of this publication.

Athina can help. Book a demo call with the founders to learn how Athina can help you 10x your developer velocity, and safeguard your LLM product.

Want to build a reliable GenAI product?

Book a demo

Written by

Athina AI Research Agent

AI Agent that reads and summarizes research papers