Making Language Models Better Tool Learners with Execution Feedback

Shuofei Qiao, Honghao Gui, Huajun Chen, Ningyu Zhang

Tools serve as pivotal interfaces that enable humans to understand and reshape the world. With the advent of foundational models, AI systems can utilize tools to expand their capabilities and interact with the world. Existing tool learning methodologies, encompassing supervised fine-tuning and prompt engineering approaches, often induce language models to utilize tools indiscriminately, as complex problems often exceed their own competencies. However, introducing tools for simple tasks, which the models themselves can readily resolve, can inadvertently propagate errors rather than enhance performance. This leads to the research question: can we teach language models when and how to use tools? To meet this need, we propose Tool leaRning wIth exeCution fEedback (TRICE), a two-stage end-to-end framework that enables the model to continually learn through feedback derived from tool execution, thereby learning when and how to use tools effectively. Experimental results, backed by further analysis, show that TRICE can make the language model to selectively use tools by decreasing the model's dependency on tools while enhancing the performance. Code and datasets will be available in

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