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Synapse: Trajectory-as-Exemplar Prompting with Memory for Computer Control

Longtao Zheng · Rundong Wang · Xinrun Wang · Bo An

Halle B #66
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Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


Building agents with large language models (LLMs) for computer control is a burgeoning research area, where the agent receives computer states and performs actions to complete complex tasks. Previous computer agents have demonstrated the benefits of in-context learning (ICL); however, their performance is hindered by several issues. First, the limited context length of LLMs and complex computer states restrict the number of exemplars, as a single webpage can consume the entire context. Second, the exemplars in current methods, such as high-level plans and multi-choice questions, cannot represent complete trajectories, leading to suboptimal performance in long-horizon tasks. Third, existing computer agents rely on task-specific exemplars and overlook the similarity among tasks, resulting in poor generalization to novel tasks. To address these challenges, we introduce Synapse, a computer agent featuring three key components: i) state abstraction, which filters out task-irrelevant information from raw states, allowing more exemplars within the limited context, ii) trajectory-as-exemplar prompting, which prompts the LLM with complete trajectories of the abstracted states and actions to improve multi-step decision-making, and iii) exemplar memory, which stores the embeddings of exemplars and retrieves them via similarity search for generalization to novel tasks. We evaluate Synapse on MiniWoB++, a standard task suite, and Mind2Web, a real-world website benchmark. In MiniWoB++, Synapse achieves a 99.2% average success rate (a 10% relative improvement) across 64 tasks using demonstrations from only 48 tasks. Notably, Synapse is the first ICL method to solve the book-flight task in MiniWoB++. Synapse also exhibits a 56% relative improvement in average step success rate over the previous state-of-the-art prompting scheme in Mind2Web.

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