Fact-Checking Complex Claims with Program-Guided Reasoning


Fact-checking real-world claims often requires collecting multiple pieces of evidence and applying complex multi-step reasoning. In this paper, we present Program-Guided Fact-Checking (ProgramFC), a novel fact-checking model that decomposes complex claims into simpler sub-tasks that can be solved using a shared library of specialized functions. We first leverage the in-context learning ability of large language models to generate reasoning programs to guide the verification process. Afterward, we execute the program by delegating each sub-task to the corresponding sub-task handler. This process makes our model both explanatory and data-efficient, providing clear explanations of its reasoning process and requiring minimal training data. We evaluate ProgramFC on two challenging fact-checking datasets and show that it outperforms seven fact-checking baselines across different settings of evidence availability, with explicit output programs that benefit human debugging.