Why You Need to Consider Knowledge Graphs in Your LLM Strategy

5 minutes reading


Large language models (LLMs) and semantic knowledge graphs (KGs) are two technologies that offer unique strengths, each contributing distinct capabilities to the field of artificial intelligence. LLMs, such as GPT-4, are designed to understand and generate human-like text. They can process vast amounts of natural language data, making them highly effective for tasks such as language translation, text summarization, and conversational agents. Their ability to capture the nuances and complexities of human language allows them to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses.

On the other hand, knowledge graphs provide a structured way to represent information. They consist of entities and relationships that capture the interconnected nature of knowledge. This structure enables precise reasoning, data validation, and the integration of diverse data sources. KGs excel at organizing complex information, making it easier to query and retrieve accurate and relevant data. They are particularly valuable for managing and generating value from big-data.

By combining the linguistic capabilities of LLMs with the structured knowledge representation of KGs, we can create AI systems that are both contextually aware and factually accurate, enhancing their overall performance and utility.

Understanding how LLMs and KGs can work together allows you to leverage their combined potential to create more robust and versatile AI solutions. In the following paragraphs we explore why integrating knowledge graphs into your LLM strategy is essential. We discuss its benefits, including improved reasoning, knowledge validation, and contextual enrichment. We also cover various integration methods and the challenges involved.

Why Integrate a KG with your enterprise LLM

  1. Enhanced Reasoning and Understanding: LLMs excel at understanding and generating human-like text but can sometimes struggle with precise reasoning and structured knowledge representation. KGs provide structured and explicit representations of knowledge, enhancing the reasoning capabilities of LLMs.
  2. Knowledge Consistency and Validation: KGs help validate and supplement the information generated by LLMs, ensuring consistency and accuracy. This is particularly useful in applications where factual accuracy is critical.
  3. Contextual and Semantic Enrichment: KGs provide contextual and semantic enrichment to the responses generated by LLMs, allowing them to generate more contextually aware and semantically rich responses.

Integration Approaches

  1. Knowledge-Augmented Language Models: This approach involves enhancing LLMs with information from KGs during the training or inference phase. For example, LLMs can be trained to query KGs for additional context or facts when generating responses. The commonly known means to create knowledge-augmented language models is LangChain, a framework designed to facilitate the development and deployment of applications involving LLMs. It simplifies the integration of LLMs with various data sources, including KGs.
  2. Post-Processing and Validation: After generating responses, LLMs can use KGs to validate or refine the output. This post-processing step ensures the generated text aligns with known facts and relationships in the KG.
  3. Hybrid Models: These models combine LLMs and KGs into a single framework where both components work together seamlessly. The LLM generates natural language text, and the KG provides structured knowledge and reasoning capabilities.

High-Visibility Integration Efforts

  1. Google’s BERT and Knowledge Graphs: Google has explored integrating BERT with KGs to improve search engine capabilities. By combining BERT’s language understanding with the structured knowledge in KGs, Google aims to provide more accurate and contextually relevant search results.
  2. OpenAI and GPT Models: OpenAI has experimented with integrating GPT models with external data sources, including KGs, to improve the factual accuracy and relevance of generated content. This involves training GPT models to interact with KGs dynamically during inference.
  3. Facebook’s BlenderBot: Facebook AI Research has developed BlenderBot, which integrates conversational AI with KGs to provide more informed and contextually aware responses in dialogue systems.
  4. Microsoft’s Turing-NLG: Microsoft has been exploring the integration of its Turing Natural Language Generation (NLG) models with KGs to enhance the model’s ability to generate factually correct and contextually relevant content.


  1. Scalability: Integrating LLMs with large-scale KGs can be computationally expensive and challenging to scale. Virtual SQL KGs have the advantage of scaling to the size of the mapped data sources while balancing the computational expense with hybrid in-memory and disk-stored data approach.
  2. Alignment and Consistency: Ensuring the alignment between the unstructured text generated by LLMs and the structured information in KGs is complex.
  3. Real-Time Querying: Efficiently querying KGs in real-time during LLM inference requires advanced caching, indexing and retrieval techniques.

How LLMs Retrieve Information from Knowledge Graphs and Their Accuracy

Integrating LLMs with KGs for information retrieval involves several methodologies, each with varying degrees of complexity and accuracy. Here’s an overview of the process and factors affecting the accuracy of the retrieved information:

Retrieval Methods

  1. Direct Querying: LLMs can be designed to query KGs directly during inference. This involves formulating SPARQL queries (for OWL ontologies) or SQL queries (for SQL ontologies) based on the context or questions posed to the LLM. The LLM generates these queries to fetch relevant information from the KG.
  2. Embedding-Based Retrieval: Both the LLM and the KG entities are represented in a shared embedding space. When a query is posed, the LLM generates an embedding for the query, which is then matched against the KG entity embeddings to find the most relevant information. The most commonly used method is Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG).
  3. Prompt Engineering: In this approach, LLMs are pre-trained or fine-tuned with prompts that instruct them on how to extract relevant information from KGs. The model is trained to recognize patterns and relationships within the KG data, enabling it to generate more accurate responses.
  4. Hybrid Models: These models combine neural networks and symbolic reasoning. The LLM processes natural language inputs, and for specific types of queries, it delegates the task to a symbolic reasoning module that interacts with the KG. The results are then integrated into the LLM’s response.

Accuracy Factors

  1. Quality of the Knowledge Graph: The accuracy of information retrieved from a KG depends heavily on the completeness and correctness of the KG itself. Well-maintained and comprehensive KGs provide more accurate information.
  2. Query Formulation: The ability of an LLM to formulate accurate and precise queries significantly impacts retrieval accuracy. Poorly formulated queries can lead to irrelevant or incorrect information being retrieved. Due to the more extensive training of LLMs on the SQL ecosystem compared to their training on SPARQL queries, LLMs are more proficient in generating accurate SQL queries for SQL ontologies than SPARQL queries for OWL ontologies.
  3. Embedding Quality: For embedding-based retrieval, the quality of embeddings (how well they capture the semantic meaning and relationships) is crucial. High-quality embeddings lead to better matching and more accurate information retrieval.
  4. Training Data and Fine-Tuning: LLMs that are fine-tuned with datasets specifically designed for interacting with KGs tend to perform better. The more relevant and extensive the training data, the better the model can understand how to interact with the KG.
  5. Real-Time Integration: Real-time querying can sometimes introduce latency and consistency issues. Ensuring that the LLM can efficiently and accurately query the KG in real-time is a technical challenge.

Accuracy of Retrieved Information

  1. Benchmarking and Evaluation: The accuracy of information retrieval from KGs by LLMs is often evaluated using benchmark datasets and tasks. These benchmarks include tasks like entity linking, relation extraction, and question answering, where the results can be compared to ground truth data.
  2. Error Rates: In practice, the accuracy can vary. High-quality integrations can achieve accuracy rates comparable to or better than traditional information retrieval systems. However, inaccuracies can still occur due to incomplete KGs, poorly formulated queries, or limitations in the LLM’s understanding.


The integration of LLMs with KGs for information retrieval is a powerful approach that combines the strengths of unstructured text processing and structured knowledge representation. While the accuracy of retrieved information is generally high, it is influenced by several factors, including the quality of the KG, the effectiveness of query formulation, and the training and fine-tuning of the LLM. 

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