The CoT Collection: Improving Zero-shot and Few-shot Learning of Language Models via Chain-of-Thought Fine-Tuning


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Large Language Models (LLMs) have shown enhanced capabilities of solving novel tasks by reasoning step-by-step known as Chain-of-Thought (CoT) reasoning; how can we instill the same capability of reasoning step-by-step on unseen tasks into LMs that possess less than <100B parameters? To address this question, we first introduce the CoT Collection, a new instruction-tuning dataset that augments 1.88 million CoT rationales across 1,060 tasks. We show that continually fine-tuning Flan-T5 (3B & 11B) with the CoT Collection enables the 3B & 11B LMs to perform CoT better on unseen tasks, leading to an improvement in the average zero-shot accuracy on 27 datasets of the BIG-Bench-Hard benchmark by +4.34% and +2.44%, respectively. Furthermore, we show that instruction tuning with CoT allows LMs to possess stronger few-shot learning capabilities, resulting in an improvement of +2.97% and +2.37% on 4 domain-specific tasks over Flan-T5 (3B & 11B), respectively. We make our CoT Collection data and our trained models publicly available at
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