MathAttack: Attacking Large Language Models towards Math Solving Ability

Zihao Zhou, Qiufeng Wang*, Mingyu Jin, Jie Yao, Jianan Ye, Wei Liu, Wei Wang, Xiaowei Huang, Kaizhu Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


With the boom of Large Language Models (LLMs), the research of solving Math Word Problem (MWP) has recently made great progress. However, there are few studies to examine the robustness of LLMs in math solving ability. Instead of attacking prompts in the use of LLMs, we propose a MathAttack model to attack MWP samples which are closer to the essence of robustness in solving math problems. Compared to traditional text adversarial attack, it is essential to preserve the mathematical logic of original MWPs during the attacking. To this end, we propose logical entity recognition to identify logical entries which are then frozen. Subsequently, the remaining text are attacked by adopting a word-level attacker. Furthermore, we propose a new dataset RobustMath to evaluate the robustness of LLMs in math solving ability. Extensive experiments on our RobustMath and two another math benchmark datasets GSM8K and MultiAirth show that MathAttack could effectively attack the math solving ability of LLMs. In the experiments, we observe that (1) Our adversarial samples from higher-accuracy LLMs are also effective for attacking LLMs with lower accuracy (e.g., transfer from larger to smaller-size LLMs, or from few-shot to zero-shot prompts); (2) Complex MWPs (such as more solving steps, longer text, more numbers) are more vulnerable to attack; (3) We can improve the robustness of LLMs by using our adversarial samples in few-shot prompts. Finally, we hope our practice and observation can serve as an important attempt towards enhancing the robustness of LLMs in math solving ability. The code and dataset is available at:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19750-19758
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024
Event38th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2024 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 20 Feb 202427 Feb 2024


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