TeaMs-RL: Teaching LLMs to Teach Themselves Better Instructions via Reinforcement Learning

CoRR(2024)

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Abstract
The development of Large Language Models (LLMs) often confronts challenges stemming from the heavy reliance on human annotators in the reinforcement learning with human feedback (RLHF) framework, or the frequent and costly external queries tied to the self-instruct paradigm. In this work, we pivot to Reinforcement Learning (RL) – but with a twist. Diverging from the typical RLHF, which refines LLMs following instruction data training, we use RL to directly generate the foundational instruction dataset that alone suffices for fine-tuning. Our method, TeaMs-RL, uses a suite of textual operations and rules, prioritizing the diversification of training datasets. It facilitates the generation of high-quality data without excessive reliance on external advanced models, paving the way for a single fine-tuning step and negating the need for subsequent RLHF stages. Our findings highlight key advantages of our approach: reduced need for human involvement and fewer model queries (only 5.73% of WizardLM's total), along with enhanced capabilities of LLMs in crafting and comprehending complex instructions compared to strong baselines, and substantially improved model privacy protection.
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