ReST-MCTS*: LLM Self-Training via Process Reward Guided Tree Search

Dan Zhang, Sining Zhoubian, Yisong Yue,Yuxiao Dong,Jie Tang


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Recent methodologies in LLM self-training mostly rely on LLM generating responses and filtering those with correct output answers as training data. This approach often yields a low-quality fine-tuning training set (e.g., incorrect plans or intermediate reasoning). In this paper, we develop a reinforced self-training approach, called ReST-MCTS*, based on integrating process reward guidance with tree search MCTS* for collecting higher-quality reasoning traces as well as per-step value to train policy and reward models. ReST-MCTS* circumvents the per-step manual annotation typically used to train process rewards by tree-search-based reinforcement learning: Given oracle final correct answers, ReST-MCTS* is able to infer the correct process rewards by estimating the probability this step can help lead to the correct answer. These inferred rewards serve dual purposes: they act as value targets for further refining the process reward model and also facilitate the selection of high-quality traces for policy model self-training. We first show that the tree-search policy in ReST-MCTS* achieves higher accuracy compared with prior LLM reasoning baselines such as Best-of-N and Tree-of-Thought, within the same search budget. We then show that by using traces searched by this tree-search policy as training data, we can continuously enhance the three language models for multiple iterations, and outperform other self-training algorithms such as ReST^EM and Self-Rewarding LM.
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