Multimodal Web Navigation with Instruction-Finetuned Foundation Models

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: Web Navigation, Foundation Models, Large Language Models, Instruction Finetuning, Decision Making, Multimodal Document Understanding
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TL;DR: We propose an offline multimodal agent for autonomous web navigation based on instruction-finetuned large language models, that achieves comparable performance to humans and RL-finetuned SoTA agents.
Abstract: The progress of autonomous web navigation has been hindered by the dependence on billions of exploratory interactions via online reinforcement learning, and domain-specific model designs that make it difficult to leverage generalization from rich out-of-domain data. In this work, we study data-driven offline training for web agents with vision-language foundation models. We propose an instruction-following multimodal agent, WebGUM, that observes both webpage screenshots and HTML pages and outputs web navigation actions, such as click and type. WebGUM is trained by jointly finetuning an instruction-finetuned language model and a vision encoder with temporal and local perception on a large corpus of demonstrations. We empirically demonstrate this recipe improves the agent's ability of grounded multimodal perception, HTML comprehension, and multi-step reasoning, outperforming prior works by a significant margin. On the MiniWoB, we improve over the previous best offline methods by more than 45.8%, even outperforming online-finetuned SoTA, humans, and GPT-4-based agent. On the WebShop benchmark, our 3-billion-parameter model achieves superior performance to the existing SoTA, PaLM-540B. Furthermore, WebGUM exhibits strong positive transfer to the real-world planning tasks on the Mind2Web. We also collect 347K high-quality demonstrations using our trained models, 38 times larger than prior work, and make them available to promote future research in this direction.
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Primary Area: applications to robotics, autonomy, planning
Submission Number: 1266