Let's Sample Step by Step: Adaptive-Consistency for Efficient Reasoning with LLMs

Pranjal Aggarwal, Aman Madaan, Yiming Yang, Mausam

A popular approach for improving the correctness of output from large language models (LLMs) is Self-Consistency - poll the LLM multiple times and output the most frequent solution. Existing Self-Consistency techniques always draw a constant number of samples per question, where a better approach will be to non-uniformly distribute the available budget based on the amount of agreement in the samples drawn so far. In response, we introduce Adaptive-Consistency, a cost-efficient, model-agnostic technique that dynamically adjusts the number of samples per question using a lightweight stopping criterion. Our experiments over 13 datasets and two LLMs demonstrate that Adaptive-Consistency reduces sample budget by up to 6.0 times with an average accuracy drop of less than 0.1%.

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