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Spotlight Poster

Tool-Augmented Reward Modeling

Lei Li · Yekun Chai · Shuohuan Wang · Yu Sun · Hao Tian · Ningyu Zhang · hua wu

Halle B #113
[ ] [ Project Page ]
Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Reward modeling (a.k.a., preference modeling) is instrumental for aligning large language models with human preferences, particularly within the context of reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF). While conventional reward models (RMs) have exhibited remarkable scalability, they oft struggle with fundamental functionality such as arithmetic computation, code execution, and factual lookup. In this paper, we propose a tool-augmented preference modeling approach, named Themis, to address these limitations by empowering RMs with access to external environments, including calculators and search engines. This approach not only fosters synergy between tool utilization and reward grading but also enhances interpretive capacity and scoring reliability. Our study delves into the integration of external tools into RMs, enabling them to interact with diverse external sources and construct task-specific tool engagement and reasoning traces in an autoregressive manner. We validate our approach across a wide range of domains, incorporating seven distinct external tools. Our experimental results demonstrate a noteworthy overall improvement of 17.7% across eight tasks in preference ranking. Furthermore, our approach outperforms Gopher 280B by 7.3% on TruthfulQA task in zero-shot evaluation. In human evaluations, RLHF trained with Themis attains an average win rate of 32% when compared to baselines across four distinct tasks. Additionally, we provide a comprehensive collection of tool-related RM datasets, incorporating data from seven distinct tool APIs, totaling 15,000 instances. We have made the code, data, and model checkpoints publicly available to facilitate and inspire further research advancements (

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