Influence of Prompt Terms on Relevance Evaluation with GPTs


Jaekeol Choi, University of New Hampshire, USA


Relevance evaluation of a query and a passage is essential in Information Retrieval (IR). Recently, numerous studies have been conducted on tasks related to relevance judgment using Large Language Models (LLMs) such as GPT-4, demonstrating significant improvements. However, the efficacy of LLMs is considerably influenced by the design of the prompt. The purpose of this paper is to identify which specific terms in prompts positively or negatively impact relevance evaluation with LLMs. We employed two types of prompts: those used in previous research and generated automatically by LLMs. By comparing the performance of these prompts, we analyze the influence of specific terms in the prompts. We have observed two main findings from our study. First, we discovered that prompts using the term 'answer' lead to more effective relevance evaluations than those using 'relevant.' This indicates that a more direct approach, focusing on answering the query, tends to enhance performance. Second, we noted the importance of appropriately balancing the scope of 'relevance.' While the term 'relevant' can extend the scope too broadly, resulting in less precise evaluations, an optimal balance in defining relevance is crucial for accurate assessments. In conclusion, our study highlights the significance of carefully selecting terms in prompts for relevance evaluation with LLMs.


chatGPT, GPT-3.5, GPT-4, Information Retrieval, Large Language Models (LLMs), relevance evaluation, prompt engineering, passage ranking.

Full Text  Volume 14, Number 6