Syntax Error-Free and Generalizable Tool Use for LLMs: Conclusion and References

2 Jun 2024


(1) Kexun Zhang, UC Santa Barbara and Equal contribution;

(2) Hongqiao Chen, Northwood High School and Equal contribution;

(3) Lei Li, Carnegie Mellon University;

(4) William Yang Wang,UC Santa Barbara.


This paper presents TOOLDEC, a novel decoding algorithm designed to enhance Large Language Models (LLMs) by integrating external tools and ensuring their invocation is syntax-error-free. TOOLDEC, guided by a finite-state machine constructed from tool documentation and API signatures, accurately represents the grammar of tool calls, addressing prevalent issues like erroneous tool calls and poor generalization to unseen tools in existing models.

Experiments demonstrate that TOOLDEC eliminates tool-related syntax errors, improves accuracy, and saves inference time across various benchmarks. It also exhibits the ability to generalize to unseen tools in multiple domains without additional fine-tuning data. The advancements by TOOLDEC open avenues for research in developing more sophisticated models adaptable to a wider range of tools and applications without additional training data, leading to more versatile and robust LLMs capable of solving a broader spectrum of complex problems.

The success of TOOLDEC in eliminating syntax errors can inspire research focusing on semantic accuracy and contextual relevance of tool calls. This can lead to models that invoke, understand, and leverage tools more effectively, enhancing LLMs’ overall problem-solving capabilities.


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