Certified Deductive Reasoning with Language Models

Published: 29 May 2024, Last Modified: 29 May 2024Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Language models often achieve higher accuracy when reasoning step-by-step in complex tasks. However, even when arriving at a correct final answer, their rationales are often logically unsound or inconsistent. This is a major issue when reliable reasoning traces are needed, such as when fine-tuning on model-generated reasoning for self-improvement. To tackle these issues, we introduce a class of tools for language models called guides, that use state and incremental constraints to guide generation. A guide can be invoked by the model to constrain its own generation to a set of valid statements given by the tool. In turn, the model’s choices can change the guide’s state. We show how a general system for logical reasoning can be used as a guide, which we call LogicGuide. Given a reasoning problem in natural language, a model can formalize its assumptions for LogicGuide and guarantee that its step-by-step reasoning is sound. In experiments on PrOntoQA, ProofWriter and Syllogism Validity datasets, LogicGuide significantly improves the performance of GPT-3, GPT-3.5 Turbo and LLaMA (accuracy gains up to 35%), while drastically reducing content effects — the interference between unwanted prior assumptions and reasoning, which humans and language models suffer from. We then explore bootstrapping GPT-3.5 Turbo and LLaMA using their own reasoning traces. We find that LogicGuide is critical: by training only on certified self-generated reasoning, models can self-improve, avoiding learning from their own hallucinations. Moreover, bootstrapped models enjoy significant boosts on ReClor, a challenging real-world reasoning dataset, even when not relying on formalization at inference time.
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Code: https://github.com/gpoesia/certified-reasoning
Assigned Action Editor: ~Yonatan_Bisk1
Submission Number: 2270