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Explicit Planning Helps Language Models in Logical Reasoning
Hongyu Zhao · Kangrui Wang · Mo Yu · Hongyuan Mei

Language models have been shown to perform remarkably well on a wide range of natural language processing tasks. In this paper, we propose a novel system that uses language models to perform multi-step logical reasoning. Our system incorporates explicit planning into its inference procedure, thus able to make more informed reasoning decisions at each step by looking ahead into their future effects. Moreover, we propose a training strategy that safeguards the planning process from being led astray by spurious features. Our full system significantly outperforms other competing methods on multiple standard datasets. When using a T5 model as its core component, our system performs competitively compared to GPT-3 despite having only about 1B parameters (i.e., 175 times smaller than GPT-3). When using GPT-3.5, it significantly outperforms chain-of-thought prompting on the challenging PrOntoQA dataset. We have conducted extensive empirical studies to demonstrate that explicit planning plays a crucial role in the system's performance.

Author Information

Hongyu Zhao (University of Chicago)
Kangrui Wang (University of Chicago)
Mo Yu (IBM Research)
Hongyuan Mei (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago)

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