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Evaluating and Improving Tool-Augmented Computation-Intensive Math Reasoning

Beichen Zhang · Kun Zhou · Xilin Wei · Xin Zhao · Jing Sha · Shijin Wang · Ji-Rong Wen

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #526
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Thu 14 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST


Chain-of-thought prompting (CoT) and tool augmentation have been validated in recent work as effective practices for improving large language models (LLMs) to perform step-by-step reasoning on complex math-related tasks.However, most existing math reasoning datasets may not be able to fully evaluate and analyze the ability of LLMs in manipulating tools and performing reasoning, as they often only require very few invocations of tools or miss annotations for evaluating intermediate reasoning steps, thus supporting only outcome evaluation.To address the issue, we construct CARP, a new Chinese dataset consisting of 4,886 computation-intensive algebra problems with formulated annotations on intermediate steps, facilitating the evaluation of the intermediate reasoning process.In CARP, we test four LLMs with CoT prompting, and find that they are all prone to make mistakes at the early steps of the solution, leading to incorrect answers.Based on this finding, we propose a new approach that can facilitate the deliberation on reasoning steps with tool interfaces, namely DELI.In DELI, we first initialize a step-by-step solution based on retrieved exemplars, then iterate two deliberation procedures that check and refine the intermediate steps of the generated solution, from both tool manipulation and natural language reasoning perspectives, until solutions converge or the maximum iteration is achieved.Experimental results on CARP and six other datasets show that the proposed DELI mostly outperforms competitive baselines, and can further boost the performance of existing CoT methods.Our data and code are available at

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