Recently, neural heuristics based on deep reinforcement learning have exhibited promise in solving multi-objective combinatorial optimization problems (MOCOPs). However, they are still struggling to achieve high learning efficiency and solution quality. To tackle this issue, we propose an efficient meta neural heuristic (EMNH), in which a meta-model is first trained and then fine-tuned with a few steps to solve corresponding single-objective subproblems. Specifically, for the training process, a (partial) architecture-shared multi-task model is leveraged to achieve parallel learning for the meta-model, so as to speed up the training; meanwhile, a scaled symmetric sampling method with respect to the weight vectors is designed to stabilize the training. For the fine-tuning process, an efficient hierarchical method is proposed to systematically tackle all the subproblems. Experimental results on the multi-objective traveling salesman problem (MOTSP), multi-objective capacitated vehicle routing problem (MOCVRP), and multi-objective knapsack problem (MOKP) show that, EMNH is able to outperform the state-of-the-art neural heuristics in terms of solution quality and learning efficiency, and yield competitive solutions to the strong traditional heuristics while consuming much shorter time.
Most of existing neural methods for multi-objective combinatorial optimization (MOCO) problems solely rely on decomposition, which often leads to repetitive solutions for the respective subproblems, thus a limited Pareto set. Beyond decomposition, we propose a novel neural heuristic with diversity enhancement (NHDE) to produce more Pareto solutions from two perspectives. On the one hand, to hinder duplicated solutions for different subproblems, we propose an indicator-enhanced deep reinforcement learning method to guide the model, and design a heterogeneous graph attention mechanism to capture the relations between the instance graph and the Pareto front graph. On the other hand, to excavate more solutions in the neighborhood of each subproblem, we present a multiple Pareto optima strategy to sample and preserve desirable solutions. Experimental results on classic MOCO problems show that our NHDE is able to generate a Pareto front with higher diversity, thereby achieving superior overall performance. Moreover, our NHDE is generic and can be applied to different neural methods for MOCO.
Large language models (LLMs) exhibit impressive emergent abilities in natural language processing, but their democratization is hindered due to huge computation requirements and closed-source nature. Recent research on advancing open-source smaller LMs by distilling knowledge from black-box LLMs has obtained promising results in the instruction-following ability. However, the reasoning ability which is more challenging to foster, is relatively rarely explored. In this paper, we propose a tailored learning approach to distill such reasoning ability to smaller LMs to facilitate the democratization of the exclusive reasoning ability. In contrast to merely employing LLM as a data annotator, we exploit the potential of LLM as a reasoning teacher by building an interactive multi-round learning paradigm. This paradigm enables the student to expose its deficiencies to the black-box teacher who then can provide customized training data in return. Further, to exploit the reasoning potential of the smaller LM, we propose self-reflection learning to motivate the student to learn from self-made mistakes. The learning from self-reflection and LLM are all tailored to the student's learning status, thanks to the seamless integration with the multi-round learning paradigm. Comprehensive experiments and analysis on mathematical and commonsense reasoning tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. The code will be available at https://github.com/Raibows/Learn-to-Reason.
Large Language Models (LLMs) are showcasing impressive ability in handling complex reasoning tasks. In real-world situations, problems often span a spectrum of complexities. Humans inherently adjust their problem-solving approaches based on task complexity. However, most methodologies that leverage LLMs tend to adopt a uniform approach: utilizing consistent models, prompting methods, and degrees of problem decomposition, regardless of the problem complexity. Inflexibility of them can bring unnecessary computational overhead or sub-optimal performance. To address this problem, we introduce an Adaptive-Solver framework. It strategically modulates solving strategies based on the difficulties of the problems. Given an initial solution, the framework functions with two primary modules. The initial evaluation module assesses the adequacy of the current solution. If improvements are needed, the subsequent adaptation module comes into play. Within this module, three key adaptation strategies are employed: (1) Model Adaptation: Switching to a stronger LLM when a weaker variant is inadequate. (2) Prompting Method Adaptation: Alternating between different prompting techniques to suit the problem's nuances. (3) Decomposition Granularity Adaptation: Breaking down a complex problem into more fine-grained sub-questions to enhance solvability. Through such dynamic adaptations, our framework not only enhances computational efficiency but also elevates the overall performance. This dual-benefit ensures both the efficiency of the system for simpler tasks and the precision required for more complex questions. Experimental results from complex reasoning tasks reveal that the prompting method adaptation and decomposition granularity adaptation enhance performance across all tasks. Furthermore, the model adaptation approach significantly reduces API costs (up to 50%) while maintaining superior performance.
This paper presents ReasonFormer, a unified reasoning framework for mirroring the modular and compositional reasoning process of humans in complex decision making. Inspired by dual-process theory in cognitive science, the representation module (automatic thinking) and reasoning modules (controlled thinking) are disentangled to capture different levels of cognition. Upon the top of the representation module, the pre-trained reasoning modules are modular and expertise in specific and fundamental reasoning skills (e.g., logic, simple QA, etc). To mimic the controlled compositional thinking process, different reasoning modules are dynamically activated and composed in both parallel and cascaded manners to control what reasoning skills are activated and how deep the reasoning process will be reached to solve the current problems. The unified reasoning framework solves multiple tasks with a single model,and is trained and inferred in an end-to-end manner. Evaluated on 11 datasets requiring different reasoning skills and complexity, ReasonFormer demonstrates substantial performance boosts, revealing the compositional reasoning ability. Few-shot experiments exhibit better generalization ability by learning to compose pre-trained skills for new tasks with limited data,and decoupling the representation module and the reasoning modules. Further analysis shows the modularity of reasoning modules as different tasks activate distinct reasoning skills at different reasoning depths.
Recent neural methods for vehicle routing problems always train and test the deep models on the same instance distribution (i.e., uniform). To tackle the consequent cross-distribution generalization concerns, we bring the knowledge distillation to this field and propose an Adaptive Multi-Distribution Knowledge Distillation (AMDKD) scheme for learning more generalizable deep models. Particularly, our AMDKD leverages various knowledge from multiple teachers trained on exemplar distributions to yield a light-weight yet generalist student model. Meanwhile, we equip AMDKD with an adaptive strategy that allows the student to concentrate on difficult distributions, so as to absorb hard-to-master knowledge more effectively. Extensive experimental results show that, compared with the baseline neural methods, our AMDKD is able to achieve competitive results on both unseen in-distribution and out-of-distribution instances, which are either randomly synthesized or adopted from benchmark datasets (i.e., TSPLIB and CVRPLIB). Notably, our AMDKD is generic, and consumes less computational resources for inference.
Task generalization has been a long standing challenge in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Recent research attempts to improve the task generalization ability of pre-trained language models by mapping NLP tasks into human-readable prompted forms. However, these approaches require laborious and inflexible manual collection of prompts, and different prompts on the same downstream task may receive unstable performance. We propose Unified Schema Prompt, a flexible and extensible prompting method, which automatically customizes the learnable prompts for each task according to the task input schema. It models the shared knowledge between tasks, while keeping the characteristics of different task schema, and thus enhances task generalization ability. The schema prompt takes the explicit data structure of each task to formulate prompts so that little human effort is involved. To test the task generalization ability of schema prompt at scale, we conduct schema prompt-based multitask pre-training on a wide variety of general NLP tasks. The framework achieves strong zero-shot and few-shot generalization performance on 16 unseen downstream tasks from 8 task types (e.g., QA, NLI, etc). Furthermore, comprehensive analyses demonstrate the effectiveness of each component in the schema prompt, its flexibility in task compositionality, and its ability to improve performance under a full-data fine-tuning setting.
Question Answering (QA) is a longstanding challenge in natural language processing. Existing QA works mostly focus on specific question types, knowledge domains, or reasoning skills. The specialty in QA research hinders systems from modeling commonalities between tasks and generalization for wider applications. To address this issue, we present ProQA, a unified QA paradigm that solves various tasks through a single model. ProQA takes a unified structural prompt as the bridge and improves the QA-centric ability by structural prompt-based pre-training. Through a structurally designed prompt-based input schema, ProQA concurrently models the knowledge generalization for all QA tasks while keeping the knowledge customization for every specific QA task. Furthermore, ProQA is pre-trained with structural prompt-formatted large-scale synthesized corpus, which empowers the model with the commonly-required QA ability. Experimental results on 11 QA benchmarks demonstrate that ProQA consistently boosts performance on both full data fine-tuning, few-shot learning, and zero-shot testing scenarios. Furthermore, ProQA exhibits strong ability in both continual learning and transfer learning by taking the advantages of the structural prompt.
Recommender systems based on graph neural networks receive increasing research interest due to their excellent ability to learn a variety of side information including social networks. However, previous works usually focus on modeling users, not much attention is paid to items. Moreover, the possible changes in the attraction of items over time, which is like the dynamic interest of users are rarely considered, and neither do the correlations among items. To overcome these limitations, this paper proposes graph neural networks with dynamic and static representations for social recommendation (GNN-DSR), which considers both dynamic and static representations of users and items and incorporates their relational influence. GNN-DSR models the short-term dynamic and long-term static interactional representations of the user's interest and the item's attraction, respectively. Furthermore, the attention mechanism is used to aggregate the social influence of users on the target user and the correlative items' influence on a given item. The final latent factors of user and item are combined to make a prediction. Experiments on three real-world recommender system datasets validate the effectiveness of GNN-DSR.