Emergent Mind

Abstract

Modern large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT have shown remarkable performance on general language tasks but still struggle on complex reasoning tasks, which drives the research on cognitive behaviors of LLMs to explore human-like problem-solving strategies. Along this direction, one representative strategy is self-reflection, which asks an LLM to refine the solution with the feedback generated by itself iteratively. However, our study shows that such reflection-style methods suffer from the Degeneration-of-Thought (DoT) problem: once the LLM has established confidence in its solutions, it is unable to generate novel thoughts later through reflection even if its initial stance is incorrect. To address the DoT problem, we propose a Multi-Agent Debate (MAD) framework, in which multiple agents express their arguments in the state of "tit for tat" and a judge manages the debate process to obtain a final solution. Clearly, our MAD framework encourages divergent thinking in LLMs which would be helpful for tasks that require deep levels of contemplation. Experiment results on two challenging datasets, commonsense machine translation and counter-intuitive arithmetic reasoning, demonstrate the effectiveness of our MAD framework. Extensive analyses suggest that the adaptive break of debate and the modest level of "tit for tat" state are required for MAD to obtain good performance. Moreover, we find that LLMs might not be a fair judge if different LLMs are used for agents. Codes: https://github.com/Skytliang/Multi-Agents-Debate

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