Large Language Models have shown immense growth and advancements in recent times. The field of Artificial Intelligence is booming with every new release of these models. From education and finance to healthcare and media, LLMs are contributing to almost every domain. Famous LLMs like GPT, BERT, PaLM, and LLaMa are revolutionizing the AI industry by imitating humans. The well-known chatbot called ChatGPT, based on GPT architecture and developed by OpenAI, imitates humans by generating accurate and creative content, answering questions, summarizing massive textual paragraphs, and language translation.
What are Vector Databases?
A new and unique type of database that is gaining immense popularity in the fields of AI and Machine Learning is the vector database. Different from conventional relational databases, which were initially intended to store tabular data in rows and columns, and more recent NoSQL databases like MongoDB, which store data in JSON documents, vector databases are different in nature. This is because vector embeddings are the only sort of data that a vector database is intended to store and retrieve.
Large Language Models and all the new applications depend on vector embedding and vector databases. These databases are specialized databases made for the effective storage and manipulation of vector data. Vector data, which uses points, lines, and polygons to describe objects in space, is frequently used in a variety of industries, including computer graphics, Machine Learning, and Geographic Information Systems.
A vector database is based on vector embedding, which is a sort of data encoding carrying semantic information that aids AI systems in interpreting the data and in maintaining long-term memory. These embeddings are the condensed versions of the training data that are produced as part of the ML process. They serve as a filter used to run new data during the inference phase of machine learning.
In vector databases, the geometric qualities of the data are used to organize and store it. Each item is identified by its coordinates in space and other properties that give its characteristics. A vector database, for instance, could be used to record details on towns, highways, rivers, and other geographic features in a GIS application.
Advantages of vector databases
- Spatial Indexing – Vector databases use spatial indexing techniques like R-trees and Quad-trees to enable data retrieval based on geographical relationships, such as proximity and confinement, which makes vector databases better than other databases.
- Multi-dimensional Indexing: Vector databases can support indexing on additional vector data qualities in addition to spatial indexing, allowing for effective searching and filtering based on non-spatial attributes.
- Geometric Operations: For geometric operations like intersection, buffering, and distance computations, vector databases frequently have built-in support, which is important for tasks like spatial analysis, routing, and map visualization.
- Integration with Geographic Information Systems (GIS): To efficiently handle and analyze spatial data, vector databases are frequently used in conjunction with GIS software and tools.
Best Vector Databases for Building LLMs
In the case of Large Language Models, a vector database is getting popular, with its main application being the storage of vector embeddings that result from the training of the LLM.
- Pinecone – Pinecone is a strong vector database that stands out for its outstanding performance, scalability, and ability to handle complicated data. It is perfect for applications that demand instant access to vectors and real-time updates because it is built to excel at quick and efficient data retrieval.
- DataStax – AstraDB, a vector database from DataStax, is available to speed up application development. AstraDB streamlines and expedites the construction of apps by integrating with Cassandra operations and working with AppCloudDB. It streamlines the development process by eliminating the necessity for laborious setup updates and allows developers to scale applications automatically across various cloud infrastructures.
- MongoDB – MongoDB’s Atlas Vector Search feature is a significant advancement in the integration of generative AI and semantic search into applications. With the incorporation of vector search capabilities, MongoDB enables developers to work with data analysis, recommendation systems, and Natural Language Processing. Atlas Vector Search empowers developers to perform searches on unstructured data effortlessly, which provides the ability to generate vector embeddings using preferred machine learning models like OpenAI or Hugging Face and store them directly in MongoDB Atlas.
- Vespa – Vespa.ai is a potent vector database with real-time analytics capabilities and speedy query returns, making it a useful tool for businesses that need to handle data quickly and effectively. Its high data availability and fault tolerance are two of its primary advantages.
- Milvus – A vector database system called Milvus was created primarily to manage complex data in an effective manner. It provides fast data retrieval and analysis, making it a great solution for applications that call for real-time processing and instant insights. The capacity of Milvus to successfully handle large datasets is one of its main advantages.
In conclusion, Vector databases provide powerful capabilities for managing and analyzing vector data, making them essential tools in various industries and applications involving spatial information.
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Tanya Malhotra is a final year undergrad from the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun, pursuing BTech in Computer Science Engineering with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
She is a Data Science enthusiast with good analytical and critical thinking, along with an ardent interest in acquiring new skills, leading groups, and managing work in an organized manner.