ReasonEval: An Innovative Machine Learning Strategy for Assessing Mathematical Reasoning Beyond Just Accuracy 

  • ReasonEval introduces a novel method for evaluating mathematical reasoning in large language models (LLMs).
  • It focuses on assessing the quality of reasoning beyond final-answer accuracy by utilizing validity and redundancy metrics.
  • The approach evaluates each reasoning step, categorizing them into positive, neutral, or negative labels based on validity and redundancy.
  • ReasonEval employs various LLMs with different base models, sizes, and training strategies, drawing data from the PRM800K dataset.
  • It achieves state-of-the-art performance on human-labeled datasets and effectively detects errors introduced by perturbations.
  • ReasonEval challenges the notion that enhanced final-answer accuracy always improves reasoning quality, providing insights into error dynamics and aiding in data selection.

Main AI News:

Evaluating the mathematical reasoning capabilities of large language models (LLMs) is crucial for effective problem-solving and decision-making. However, conventional evaluation methods often prioritize final outcomes over the intricacies of the reasoning process itself. The current standard, exemplified by the OpenLLM leaderboard, predominantly relies on overall accuracy metrics, potentially overlooking critical logical flaws or inefficient problem-solving steps. Hence, there’s a pressing need for more advanced evaluation methodologies to uncover underlying issues and enhance the overall reasoning capabilities of LLMs.

One such groundbreaking approach is ReasonEval, introduced by a collaborative team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Generative AI Research Lab (GAIR). ReasonEval aims to evaluate the quality of mathematical reasoning beyond mere final-answer accuracy. It achieves this by employing sophisticated validity and redundancy metrics to assess the quality of individual reasoning steps, a task automatically executed by accompanying LLMs.

Unlike traditional methods that rely solely on comparing final answers with ground truth, ReasonEval adopts a more nuanced approach. It evaluates the quality of reasoning by scrutinizing the entire solution process, comparing generated solution steps with reference ones. This method acknowledges the diversity of reasoning paths leading to the same answer, challenging the reliance on any single reference point. Moreover, ReasonEval addresses the limitations of prompting-based methods, which directly query LLMs to evaluate generated solutions, such as GPT-4. Despite their potential, these methods suffer from high computational costs and transparency issues, hindering their practical applicability in iterative model development.

ReasonEval’s evaluation framework is anchored on base models endowed with robust mathematical knowledge, trained on meticulously labeled high-quality data. It focuses specifically on multi-step reasoning tasks, evaluating each reasoning step for validity and redundancy and categorizing them into positive, neutral, or negative labels. By aggregating step-level scores, ReasonEval generates solution-level scores, providing a comprehensive assessment of reasoning quality.

The versatility of ReasonEval is underscored by its utilization of various LLMs with different base models, sizes, and training strategies. Training data is drawn from PRM800K, a rich dataset of labeled step-by-step solutions meticulously curated by human annotators. Through rigorous experimentation, ReasonEval has demonstrated state-of-the-art performance on human-labeled datasets, effectively detecting diverse errors introduced by perturbations.

Notably, ReasonEval’s findings challenge the conventional wisdom that enhanced final-answer accuracy invariably leads to improved reasoning quality. By analyzing the impact of errors on validity and redundancy scores, ReasonEval sheds light on the intricate dynamics of mathematical reasoning. This nuanced understanding not only facilitates model refinement but also aids in data selection, identifying errors that undermine validity versus those that introduce redundancy. Ultimately, ReasonEval represents a significant leap forward in evaluating and enhancing the mathematical reasoning capabilities of LLMs.


The introduction of ReasonEval marks a significant advancement in the evaluation and enhancement of mathematical reasoning in large language models. This innovative approach not only provides a more nuanced understanding of reasoning quality but also offers practical insights for model refinement and data selection. For businesses operating in the AI and machine learning market, ReasonEval represents a valuable tool for improving the effectiveness and reliability of mathematical reasoning in various applications, ranging from problem-solving to decision-making.