Orca-Math: Unlocking the potential of SLMs in Grade School Math

Published on Feb 16
· Submitted by akhaliq on Feb 26
#3 Paper of the day


Mathematical word problem-solving has long been recognized as a complex task for small language models (SLMs). A recent study hypothesized that the smallest model size, needed to achieve over 80% accuracy on the GSM8K benchmark, is 34 billion parameters. To reach this level of performance with smaller models, researcher often train SLMs to generate Python code or use tools to help avoid calculation errors. Additionally, they employ ensembling, where outputs of up to 100 model runs are combined to arrive at a more accurate result. Result selection is done using consensus, majority vote or a separate a verifier model used in conjunction with the SLM. Ensembling provides a substantial boost in accuracy but at a significant cost increase with multiple calls to the model (e.g., Phi-GSM uses top-48 to boost the performance from 68.2 to 81.5). In this work, we present Orca-Math, a 7-billion-parameter SLM based on the Mistral-7B, which achieves 86.81% on GSM8k without the need for multiple model calls or the use of verifiers, code execution or any other external tools. Our approach has the following key elements: (1) A high quality synthetic dataset of 200K math problems created using a multi-agent setup where agents collaborate to create the data, (2) An iterative learning techniques that enables the SLM to practice solving problems, receive feedback on its solutions and learn from preference pairs incorporating the SLM solutions and the feedback. When trained with Supervised Fine-Tuning alone, Orca-Math achieves 81.50% on GSM8k pass@1 metric. With iterative preference learning, Orca-Math achieves 86.81% pass@1. Orca-Math surpasses the performance of significantly larger models such as LLAMA-2-70B, WizardMath-70B, Gemini-Pro, ChatGPT-3.5. It also significantly outperforms other smaller models while using much smaller data (hundreds of thousands vs. millions of problems).


Impressive, but it's not a SLM. It's an LLM.

I don't think any sane person would consider a 15GB file as small

Considering that the rest of the world considers 7B models as LLM's, is there a salient reason you are trying to re-classify it as small?


Tbh, I was just thinking the same thing—it's a legit biggie, a 7B club member! To me, it's "small" only if it runs on a RPi or simple CPU; otherwise, it's a heavyweight! ;)

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