Tool learning is widely acknowledged as a foundational approach or deploying large language models (LLMs) in real-world scenarios. While current research primarily emphasizes leveraging tools to augment LLMs, it frequently neglects emerging safety considerations tied to their application. To fill this gap, we present $ToolSword$, a comprehensive framework dedicated to meticulously investigating safety issues linked to LLMs in tool learning. Specifically, ToolSword delineates six safety scenarios for LLMs in tool learning, encompassing $malicious$ $queries$ and $jailbreak$ $attacks$ in the input stage, $noisy$ $misdirection$ and $risky$ $cues$ in the execution stage, and $harmful$ $feedback$ and $error$ $conflicts$ in the output stage. Experiments conducted on 11 open-source and closed-source LLMs reveal enduring safety challenges in tool learning, such as handling harmful queries, employing risky tools, and delivering detrimental feedback, which even GPT-4 is susceptible to. Moreover, we conduct further studies with the aim of fostering research on tool learning safety. The data is released in https://github.com/Junjie-Ye/ToolSword.
Large language models (LLMs) have achieved impressive performance in numerous domains but often struggle to process lengthy inputs effectively and efficiently due to limited length generalization and attention's quadratic computational demands. Many sought to mitigate this by restricting the attention window within the pre-trained length. However, these methods introduce new issues such as ignoring the middle context and requiring additional training. To address these problems, we propose LongHeads, a training-free framework that enhances LLM's long context ability by unlocking multi-head attention's untapped potential. Instead of allowing each head to attend to the full sentence, which struggles with generalizing to longer sequences due to out-of-distribution (OOD) issues, we allow each head to process in-distribution length by selecting and attending to important context chunks. To this end, we propose a chunk selection strategy that relies on the inherent correlation between the query and the key representations, efficiently distributing context chunks to different heads. In this way, each head ensures it can effectively process attended tokens within the trained length, while different heads in different layers can collectively process longer contexts. LongHeads works efficiently in linear time, fits seamlessly with many LLMs that use relative positional encoding. Our extensive empirical analyses verify LongHeads's efficacy in extending the usable context window for existing models, showcasing its promise for enhancing long text understanding.
In this paper, we propose R$^3$: Learning Reasoning through Reverse Curriculum Reinforcement Learning (RL), a novel method that employs only outcome supervision to achieve the benefits of process supervision for large language models. The core challenge in applying RL to complex reasoning is to identify a sequence of actions that result in positive rewards and provide appropriate supervision for optimization. Outcome supervision provides sparse rewards for final results without identifying error locations, whereas process supervision offers step-wise rewards but requires extensive manual annotation. R$^3$ overcomes these limitations by learning from correct demonstrations. Specifically, R$^3$ progressively slides the start state of reasoning from a demonstration's end to its beginning, facilitating easier model exploration at all stages. Thus, R$^3$ establishes a step-wise curriculum, allowing outcome supervision to offer step-level signals and precisely pinpoint errors. Using Llama2-7B, our method surpasses RL baseline on eight reasoning tasks by $4.1$ points on average. Notebaly, in program-based reasoning on GSM8K, it exceeds the baseline by $4.2$ points across three backbone models, and without any extra data, Codellama-7B + R$^3$ performs comparable to larger models or closed-source models.
The advancement of large language models (LLMs) has significantly propelled the field of code generation. Previous work integrated reinforcement learning (RL) with compiler feedback for exploring the output space of LLMs to enhance code generation quality. However, the lengthy code generated by LLMs in response to complex human requirements makes RL exploration a challenge. Also, since the unit tests may not cover the complicated code, optimizing LLMs by using these unexecuted code snippets is ineffective. To tackle these challenges, we introduce StepCoder, a novel RL framework for code generation, consisting of two main components: CCCS addresses the exploration challenge by breaking the long sequences code generation task into a Curriculum of Code Completion Subtasks, while FGO only optimizes the model by masking the unexecuted code segments to provide Fine-Grained Optimization. In addition, we furthermore construct the APPS+ dataset for RL training, which is manually verified to ensure the correctness of unit tests. Experimental results show that our method improves the ability to explore the output space and outperforms state-of-the-art approaches in corresponding benchmarks. Our dataset APPS+ and StepCoder are available online.
LLM-based Automatic Prompt Optimization, which typically utilizes LLMs as Prompt Optimizers to self-reflect and refine prompts, has shown promising performance in recent studies. Despite the success, the underlying mechanism of this approach remains unexplored, and the true effectiveness of LLMs as Prompt Optimizers requires further validation. In this work, we conducted a comprehensive study to uncover the actual mechanism of LLM-based Prompt Optimization. Our findings reveal that the LLM optimizers struggle to identify the true causes of errors during reflection, tending to be biased by their own prior knowledge rather than genuinely reflecting on the errors. Furthermore, even when the reflection is semantically valid, the LLM optimizers often fail to generate appropriate prompts for the target models with a single prompt refinement step, partly due to the unpredictable behaviors of the target models. Based on the observations, we introduce a new "Automatic Behavior Optimization" paradigm, which directly optimizes the target model's behavior in a more controllable manner. We hope our study can inspire new directions for automatic prompt optimization development.
Large language models are meticulously aligned to be both helpful and harmless. However, recent research points to a potential overkill which means models may refuse to answer benign queries. In this paper, we investigate the factors for overkill by exploring how models handle and determine the safety of queries. Our findings reveal the presence of shortcuts within models, leading to an over-attention of harmful words like 'kill' and prompts emphasizing safety will exacerbate overkill. Based on these insights, we introduce Self-Contrastive Decoding (Self-CD), a training-free and model-agnostic strategy, to alleviate this phenomenon. We first extract such over-attention by amplifying the difference in the model's output distributions when responding to system prompts that either include or omit an emphasis on safety. Then we determine the final next-token predictions by downplaying the over-attention from the model via contrastive decoding. Empirical results indicate that our method has achieved an average reduction of the refusal rate by 20\% while having almost no impact on safety.
Current large vision-language models (VLMs) often encounter challenges such as insufficient capabilities of a single visual component and excessively long visual tokens. These issues can limit the model's effectiveness in accurately interpreting complex visual information and over-lengthy contextual information. Addressing these challenges is crucial for enhancing the performance and applicability of VLMs. This paper proposes the use of ensemble experts technique to synergizes the capabilities of individual visual encoders, including those skilled in image-text matching, OCR, image segmentation, etc. This technique introduces a fusion network to unify the processing of outputs from different visual experts, while bridging the gap between image encoders and pre-trained LLMs. In addition, we explore different positional encoding schemes to alleviate the waste of positional encoding caused by lengthy image feature sequences, effectively addressing the issue of position overflow and length limitations. For instance, in our implementation, this technique significantly reduces the positional occupancy in models like SAM, from a substantial 4096 to a more efficient and manageable 64 or even down to 1. Experimental results demonstrate that VLMs with multiple experts exhibit consistently superior performance over isolated visual encoders and mark a significant performance boost as more experts are integrated. We have open-sourced the training code used in this report. All of these resources can be found on our project website.
Multi-modal Large Language Models (MLLMs) have shown impressive abilities in generating reasonable responses with respect to multi-modal contents. However, there is still a wide gap between the performance of recent MLLM-based applications and the expectation of the broad public, even though the most powerful OpenAI's GPT-4 and Google's Gemini have been deployed. This paper strives to enhance understanding of the gap through the lens of a qualitative study on the generalizability, trustworthiness, and causal reasoning capabilities of recent proprietary and open-source MLLMs across four modalities: ie, text, code, image, and video, ultimately aiming to improve the transparency of MLLMs. We believe these properties are several representative factors that define the reliability of MLLMs, in supporting various downstream applications. To be specific, we evaluate the closed-source GPT-4 and Gemini and 6 open-source LLMs and MLLMs. Overall we evaluate 230 manually designed cases, where the qualitative results are then summarized into 12 scores (ie, 4 modalities times 3 properties). In total, we uncover 14 empirical findings that are useful to understand the capabilities and limitations of both proprietary and open-source MLLMs, towards more reliable downstream multi-modal applications.
Tool learning has generated widespread interest as a vital means of interaction between Large Language Models (LLMs) and the physical world. Current research predominantly emphasizes LLMs' capacity to utilize tools in well-structured environments while overlooking their stability when confronted with the inevitable noise of the real world. To bridge this gap, we introduce RoTBench, a multi-level benchmark for evaluating the robustness of LLMs in tool learning. Specifically, we establish five external environments, each featuring varying levels of noise (i.e., Clean, Slight, Medium, Heavy, and Union), providing an in-depth analysis of the model's resilience across three critical phases: tool selection, parameter identification, and content filling. Experiments involving six widely-used models underscore the urgent necessity for enhancing the robustness of LLMs in tool learning. For instance, the performance of GPT-4 even drops significantly from 80.00 to 58.10 when there is no substantial change in manual accuracy. More surprisingly, the noise correction capability inherent in the GPT family paradoxically impedes its adaptability in the face of mild noise. In light of these findings, we propose RoTTuning, a strategy that enriches the diversity of training environments to bolster the robustness of LLMs in tool learning. The code and data are available at https://github.com/Junjie-Ye/RoTBench.