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Kosmos
Astronomia Astrofizyka
Inne

Kultura
Sztuka dawna i współczesna, muzea i kolekcje

Metoda
Metodologia nauk, Matematyka, Filozofia, Miary i wagi, Pomiary

Materia
Substancje, reakcje, energia
Fizyka, chemia i inżynieria materiałowa

Człowiek
Antropologia kulturowa Socjologia Psychologia Zdrowie i medycyna

Wizje
Przewidywania Kosmologia Religie Ideologia Polityka

Ziemia
Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Życie
Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Cyberprzestrzeń
Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

Działalność
Wiadomości | Gospodarka, biznes, zarządzanie, ekonomia

Technologie
Budownictwo, energetyka, transport, wytwarzanie, technologie informacyjne

Journal of Cheminformatics

Background:
Mesoscopic simulation studies the structure, dynamics and properties of large molecular ensembles with millions of atoms: Its basic interacting units (beads) are no longer the nuclei and electrons of quantum chemical ab-initio calculations or the atom types of molecular mechanics but molecular fragments, molecules or even larger molecular entities. For its simulation setup and output a mesoscopic simulation kernel software uses abstract matrix (array) representations for bead topology and connectivity. Therefore a pure kernel-based mesoscopic simulation task is a tedious, time-consuming and error-prone venture that limits its practical use and application. A consequent cheminformatics approach tackles these problems and provides solutions for a considerably enhanced accessibility. This study aims at outlining a complete cheminformatics roadmap that frames a mesoscopic Molecular Fragment Dynamics (MFD) simulation kernel to allow its efficient use and practical application.
Results:
The molecular fragment cheminformatics roadmap consists of four consecutive building blocks: An adequate fragment structure representation (1), defined operations on these fragment structures (2), the description of compartments with defined compositions and structural alignments (3), and the graphical setup and analysis of a whole simulation box (4). The basis of the cheminformatics approach (i.e. building block 1) is a SMILES-like line notation (denoted fSMILES) with connected molecular fragments to represent a molecular structure. The fSMILES notation and the following concepts and methods for building blocks 2-4 are outlined with examples and practical usage scenarios. It is shown that the requirements of the roadmap may be partly covered by already existing open-source cheminformatics software.
Conclusions:
Mesoscopic simulation techniques like MFD may be considerably alleviated and broadened for practical use with a consequent cheminformatics layer that successfully tackles its setup subtleties and conceptual usage hurdles. Molecular Fragment Cheminformatics may be regarded as a crucial accelerator to propagate MFD and similar mesoscopic simulation techniques in the molecular sciences.Graphical abstractA molecular fragment cheminformatics roadmap for mesoscopic simulation.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/45 2014/10/04 - 21:09

Background:
Sound statistical validation is important to evaluate and compare the overall performance of (Q)SAR models. However, classical validation does not support the user in better understanding the properties of the model or the underlying data. Even though, a number of visualization tools for analyzing (Q)SAR information in small molecule datasets exist, integrated visualization methods that allow the investigation of model validation results are still lacking.
Results:
We propose visual validation, as an approach for the graphical inspection of (Q)SAR model validation results. The approach applies the 3D viewer CheS-Mapper, an open-source application for the exploration of small molecules in virtual 3D space. The present work describes the new functionalities in CheS-Mapper 2.0, that facilitate the analysis of (Q)SAR information and allows the visual validation of (Q)SAR models. The tool enables the comparison of model predictions to the actual activity in feature space. The approach is generic: It is model-independent and can handle physico-chemical and structural input features as well as quantitative and qualitative endpoints.
Conclusions:
Visual validation with CheS-Mapper enables analyzing (Q)SAR information in the data and indicates how this information is employed by the (Q)SAR model. It reveals, if the endpoint is modeled too specific or too generic and highlights common properties of misclassified compounds. Moreover, the researcher can use CheS-Mapper to inspect how the (Q)SAR model predicts activity cliffs. The CheS-Mapper software is freely available at http://ches-mapper.org.Graphical abstractComparing actual and predicted activity values with CheS-Mapper.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/41 2014/09/25 - 17:22

Background:
Hierarchical clustering is an exploratory data analysis method that reveals the groups (clusters) of similar objects. The result of the hierarchical clustering is a tree structure called dendrogram that shows the arrangement of individual clusters. To investigate the row/column hierarchical cluster structure of a data matrix, a visualization tool called `cluster heatmap? is commonly employed. In the cluster heatmap, the data matrix is displayed as a heatmap, a 2-dimensional array in which the colour of each element corresponds to its value. The rows/columns of the matrix are ordered such that similar rows/columns are near each other. The ordering is given by the dendrogram which is displayed on the side of the heatmap.
Results:
We developed InCHlib (Interactive Cluster Heatmap Library), a highly interactive and lightweight JavaScript library for cluster heatmap visualization and exploration. InCHlib enables the user to select individual or clustered heatmap rows, to zoom in and out of clusters or to flexibly modify heatmap appearance. The cluster heatmap can be augmented with additional metadata displayed in a different colour scale. In addition, to further enhance the visualization, the cluster heatmap can be interconnected with external data sources or analysis tools. Data clustering and the preparation of the input file for InCHlib is facilitated by the Python utility script inchlib_clust.
Conclusions:
The cluster heatmap is one of the most popular visualizations of large chemical and biomedical data sets originating, e.g., in high-throughput screening, genomics or transcriptomics experiments. The presented JavaScript library InCHlib is a client-side solution for cluster heatmap exploration. InCHlib can be easily deployed into any modern web application and configured to cooperate with external tools and data sources. Though InCHlib is primarily intended for the analysis of chemical or biological data, it is a versatile tool which application domain is not limited to the life sciences only.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/44 2014/09/21 - 06:12

Background:
The design of chemical libraries, an early step in agrochemical discovery programs, is frequently addressed by means of qualitative physicochemical and/or topological rule-based methods. The aim of this study is to develop quantitative estimates of herbicide- (QEH), insecticide- (QEI), fungicide- (QEF), and, finally, pesticide-likeness (QEP).In the assessment of these definitions, we relied on the concept of desirability functions.
Results:
We found a simple function, shared by the three classes of pesticides, parameterized particularly, for six, easy to compute, independent and interpretable, molecular properties: molecular weight, logP, number of hydrogen bond acceptors, number of hydrogen bond donors, number of rotatable bounds and number of aromatic rings. Subsequently, we describe the scoring of each pesticide class by the corresponding quantitative estimate. In a comparative study, we assessed the performance of the scoring functions using extensive datasets of patented pesticides.
Conclusions:
The hereby-established quantitative assessment has the ability to rank compounds whether they fail well-established pesticide-likeness rules or not, and offer an efficient way to prioritize (class-specific) pesticides. These findings are valuable for the efficient estimation of pesticide-likeness of vast chemical libraries in the field of agrochemical discovery.Graphical abstractQuantitative models for pesticide-likeness were derived using the concept of desirability functions parameterized for six, easy to compute, independent and interpretable, molecular properties: molecular weight, logP, number of hydrogen bond acceptors, number of hydrogen bond donors, number of rotatable bounds and number of aromatic rings.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/42 2014/09/13 - 07:22

UniChem is a low-maintenance, fast and freely available compound identifier mapping service, recently made available on the Internet. Until now, the criterion of molecular equivalence within UniChem has been on the basis of complete identity between Standard InChIs. However, a limitation of this approach is that stereoisomers, isotopes and salts of otherwise identical molecules are not considered as related. Here, we describe how we have exploited the layered structural representation of the Standard InChI to create new functionality within UniChem that integrates these related molecular forms. The service, called ‘Connectivity Search’ allows molecules to be first matched on the basis of complete identity between the connectivity layer of their corresponding Standard InChIs, and the remaining layers then compared to highlight stereochemical and isotopic differences. Parsing of Standard InChI sub-layers permits mixtures and salts to also be included in this integration process. Implementation of these enhancements required simple modifications to the schema, loader and web application, but none of which have changed the original UniChem functionality or services. The scope of queries may be varied using a variety of easily configurable options, and the output is annotated to assist the user to filter, sort and understand the difference between query and retrieved structures. A RESTful web service output may be easily processed programmatically to allow developers to present the data in whatever form they believe their users will require, or to define their own level of molecular equivalence for their resource, albeit within the constraint of identical connectivity.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/43 2014/09/09 - 07:26

Background:
The large increase in the number of scientific publications has fuelled a need for semi- and fully automated text mining approaches in order to assist in the triage process, both for individual scientists and also for larger-scale data extraction and curation into public databases. Here, we introduce a document classifier, which is able to successfully distinguish between publications that are ‘ChEMBL-like’ (i.e. related to small molecule drug discovery and likely to contain quantitative bioactivity data) and those that are not. The unprecedented size of the medicinal chemistry literature collection, coupled with the advantage of manual curation and mapping to chemistry and biology make the ChEMBL corpus a unique resource for text mining.
Results:
The method has been implemented as a data protocol/workflow for both Pipeline Pilot (version 8.5) and KNIME (version 2.9) respectively. Both workflows and models are freely available at: ftp://ftp.ebi.ac.uk/pub/databases/chembl/text-mining. These can be readily modified to include additional keyword constraints to further focus searches.
Conclusions:
Large-scale machine learning document classification was shown to be very robust and flexible for this particular application, as illustrated in four distinct text-mining-based use cases. The models are readily available on two data workflow platforms, which we believe will allow the majority of the scientific community to apply them to their own data.ᅟGraphical AbstractMultidimensional scaling analysis applied to document vectors derived from titles and abstracts in different corpora. Notably, there is large overlap between the documents in the different ChEMBL versions and BindingDB, while the background MEDLINE set is largely divergent.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/40 2014/09/09 - 07:26

Background:
We recently developed a freely available mobile app (TB Mobile) for both iOS and Android platforms that displays Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) active molecule structures and their targets with links to associated data. The app was developed to make target information available to as large an audience as possible.
Results:
We now report a major update of the iOS version of the app. This includes enhancements that use an implementation of ECFP_6 fingerprints that we have made open source. Using these fingerprints, the user can propose compounds with possible anti-TB activity, and view the compounds within a cluster landscape. Proposed compounds can also be compared to existing target data, using a n?ive Bayesian scoring system to rank probable targets. We have curated an additional 60 new compounds and their targets for Mtb and added these to the original set of 745 compounds. We have also curated 20 further compounds (many without targets in TB Mobile) to evaluate this version of the app with 805 compounds and associated targets.
Conclusions:
TB Mobile can now manage a small collection of compounds that can be imported from external sources, or exported by various means such as email or app-to-app inter-process communication. This means that TB Mobile can be used as a node within a growing ecosystem of mobile apps for cheminformatics. It can also cluster compounds and use internal algorithms to help identify potential targets based on molecular similarity. TB Mobile represents a valuable dataset, data-visualization aid and target prediction tool.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/38 2014/08/04 - 18:11

A general purpose force field such as MMFF94/MMFF94s, which can properly deal with a wide range of diverse structures, is very valuable in the context of a cheminformatics toolkit. Herein we present an open-source implementation of this force field within the RDKit. The new MMFF functionality can be accessed through a C++/C#/Python/Java application programming interface (API) developed along the lines of the one already available for UFF in the RDKit. Our implementation was fully validated against the official validation suite provided by the MMFF authors. All energies and gradients were correctly computed; moreover, atom type and force constants were correctly assigned for 3D molecules built from SMILES strings. To provide full flexibility, the available API provides direct access to include/exclude individual terms from the MMFF energy expression and to carry out constrained geometry optimizations. The availability of a MMFF-capable molecular mechanics engine coupled with the rest of the RDKit functionality and covered by the BSD license is appealing to researchers operating in both academia and industry.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/37 2014/08/01 - 20:32

Proteochemometrics (PCM) is an approach for bioactivity predictive modeling which models the relationship between protein and chemical information. Gaussian Processes (GP), based on Bayesian inference, provide the most objective estimation of the uncertainty of the predictions, thus permitting the evaluation of the applicability domain (AD) of the model. Furthermore, the experimental error on bioactivity measurements can be used as input for this probabilistic model.In this study, we apply GP implemented with a panel of kernels on three various (and multispecies) PCM datasets. The first dataset consisted of information from 8 human and rat adenosine receptors with 10,999 small molecule ligands and their binding affinity. The second consisted of the catalytic activity of four dengue virus NS3 proteases on 56 small peptides. Finally, we have gathered bioactivity information of small molecule ligands on 91 aminergic GPCRs from 9 different species, leading to a dataset of 24,593 datapoints with a matrix completeness of only 2.43%.GP models trained on these datasets are statistically sound, at the same level of statistical significance as Support Vector Machines (SVM), with $R_{0}^{2}$ values on the external dataset ranging from 0.68 to 0.92, and RMSEP values close to the experimental error. Furthermore, the best GP models obtained with the normalized polynomial and radial kernels provide intervals of confidence for the predictions in agreement with the cumulative Gaussian distribution. GP models were also interpreted on the basis of individual targets and of ligand descriptors. In the dengue dataset, the model interpretation in terms of the amino-acid positions in the tetra-peptide ligands gave biologically meaningful results.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/35 2014/06/28 - 16:07

Background:
A foundational library called MORT (Molecular Objects and Relevant Templates) for the development of new software packages and tools employed in computational biology and computer-aided drug design (CADD) is described here.
Results:
MORT contains several advantages compared with the other libraries. Firstly, MORT written in C++ natively supports the paradigm of object-oriented design, and thus it can be understood and extended easily. Secondly, MORT employs the relational model to represent a molecule, and it is more convenient and flexible than the traditional hierarchical model employed by many other libraries. Thirdly, a lot of functions have been included in this library, and a molecule can be manipulated easily at different levels. For example, it can parse a variety of popular molecular formats (MOL/SDF, MOL2, PDB/ENT, SMILES/SMARTS, etc.), create the topology and coordinate files for the simulations supported by AMBER, calculate the energy of a specific molecule based on the AMBER force fields, etc.
Conclusions:
We believe that MORT can be used as a foundational library for programmers to develop new programs and applications for computational biology and CADD. Source code of MORT is available at http://cadd.suda.edu.cn/MORT/index.htm.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/36 2014/06/28 - 16:07

Background:
Quantitative structure-activity (QSAR) models have enormous potential for reducing drug discovery and development costs as well as the need for animal testing. Great strides have been made in estimating their overall reliability, but to fully realize that potential, researchers and regulators need to know how confident they can be in individual predictions.
Results:
Submodels in an ensemble model which have been trained on different subsets of a shared training pool represent multiple samples of the model space, and the degree of agreement among them contains information on the reliability of ensemble predictions. For artificial neural network ensembles (ANNEs) using two different methods for determining ensemble classification - one using vote tallies and the other averaging individual network outputs - we have found that the distribution of predictions across positive vote tallies can be reasonably well-modeled as beta binomial distributions, as can the distribution of errors. Together, these two distributions can be used to estimate the probability that a given predictive classification will be in error. Large data sets comprised of logP, Ames mutagenicity, and CYP2D6 inhibition data are used to illustrate and validate the method. The distributions of predictions and errors for the training pool accurately predicted the distribution of predictions and errors for large external validation sets, even when the number of positive and negative examples in the training pool were not balanced. Moreover, the likelihood of a given compound being prospectively misclassified as a function of the degree of consensus between networks in the ensemble could in most cases be estimated accurately from the fitted beta binomial distributions for the training pool.
Conclusions:
Confidence in an individual predictive classification by an ensemble model can be accurately assessed by examining the distributions of predictions and errors as a function of the degree of agreement among the constituent submodels. Further, ensemble uncertainty estimation can often be improved by adjusting the voting or classification threshold based on the parameters of the error distribution. Finally, the profiles for models whose predictive uncertainty estimates are not reliable provide clues to that effect without the need for comparison to an external test set.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/34 2014/06/22 - 14:29

Background:
Ligand-based in silico target fishing can be used to identify the potential interacting target of bioactive ligands, which is useful for understanding the polypharmacology and safety profile of existing drugs. The underlying principle of the approach is that known bioactive ligands can be used as reference to predict the targets for a new compound.
Results:
We tested a pipeline enabling large-scale target fishing and drug repositioning, based on simple fingerprint similarity rankings with data fusion. A large library containing 533 drug relevant targets with 179,807 active ligands was compiled, where each target was defined by its ligand set. For a given query molecule, its target profile is generated by similarity searching against the ligand sets assigned to each target, for which individual searches utilizing multiple reference structures are then fused into a single ranking list representing the potential target interaction profile of the query compound. The proposed approach was validated by 10-fold cross validation and two external tests using data from DrugBank and Therapeutic Target Database (TTD). The use of the approach was further demonstrated with some examples concerning the drug repositioning and drug side-effects prediction. The promising results suggest that the proposed method is useful for not only finding promiscuous drugs for their new usages, but also predicting some important toxic liabilities.
Conclusions:
With the rapid increasing volume and diversity of data concerning drug related targets and their ligands, the simple ligand-based target fishing approach would play an important role in assisting future drug design and discovery.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/33 2014/06/18 - 22:24

Background:
The paper presents a thorough analysis of the influence of the number of negative training examples on the performance of machine learning methods.
Results:
The impact of this rather neglected aspect of machine learning methods application was examined for sets containing a fixed number of positive and a varying number of negative examples randomly selected from the ZINC database. An increase in the ratio of positive to negative training instances was found to greatly influence most of the investigated evaluating parameters of ML methods in simulated virtual screening experiments. In a majority of cases, substantial increases in precision and MCC were observed in conjunction with some decreases in hit recall. The analysis of dynamics of those variations let us recommend an optimal composition of training data. The study was performed on several protein targets, 5 machine learning algorithms (SMO, Naive Bayes, Ibk, J48 and Random Forest) and 2 types of molecular fingerprints (MACCS and CDK FP). The most effective classification was provided by the combination of CDK FP with SMO or Random Forest algorithms. The Naive Bayes models appeared to be hardly sensitive to changes in the number of negative instances in the training set.
Conclusions:
In conclusion, the ratio of positive to negative training instances should be taken into account during the preparation of machine learning experiments, as it might significantly influence the performance of particular classifier. What is more, the optimization of negative training set size can be applied as a boosting-like approach in machine learning-based virtual screening.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/32 2014/06/11 - 07:10

Background:
The enumeration of chemical graphs (molecular graphs) satisfying given constraints is one of the fundamental problems in chemoinformatics and bioinformatics because it leads to a variety of useful applications including structure determination and development of novel chemical compounds.
Results:
We consider the problem of enumerating chemical graphs with monocyclic structure (a graph structure that contains exactly one cycle) from a given set of feature vectors, where a feature vector represents the frequency of the prescribed paths in a chemical compound to be constructed and the set is specified by a pair of upper and lower feature vectors. To enumerate all tree-like (acyclic) chemical graphs from a given set of feature vectors, Shimizu et al. and Suzuki et al. proposed efficient branch-and-bound algorithms based on a fast tree enumeration algorithm. In this study, we devise a novel method for extending these algorithms to enumeration of chemical graphs with monocyclic structure by designing a fast algorithm for testing uniqueness. The results of computational experiments reveal that the computational efficiency of the new algorithm is as good as those for enumeration of tree-like chemical compounds.
Conclusions:
We succeed in expanding the class of chemical graphs that are able to be enumerated efficiently.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/31 2014/05/30 - 06:44

Background:
Support vector regression (SVR) and Gaussian process regression (GPR) were used for the analysis of electroanalytical experimental data to estimate diffusion coefficients.
Results:
For simulated cyclic voltammograms based on the EC, Eqr, and EqrC mechanisms these regression algorithms in combination with nonlinear kernel/covariance functions yielded diffusion coefficients with higher accuracy as compared to the standard approach of calculating diffusion coefficients relying on the Nicholson-Shain equation. The level of accuracy achieved by SVR and GPR is virtually independent of the rate constants governing the respective reaction steps. Further, the reduction of high-dimensional voltammetric signals by manual selection of typical voltammetric peak features decreased the performance of both regression algorithms compared to a reduction by downsampling or principal component analysis. After training on simulated data sets, diffusion coefficients were estimated by the regression algorithms for experimental data comprising voltammetric signals for three organometallic complexes.
Conclusions:
Estimated diffusion coefficients closely matched the values determined by the parameter fitting method, but reduced the required computational time considerably for one of the reaction mechanisms. The automated processing of voltammograms according to the regression algorithms yields better results than the conventional analysis of peak-related data.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/30 2014/05/28 - 16:28

Background:
The prediction of sites and products of metabolism in xenobiotic compounds is key to the development of new chemical entities, where screening potential metabolites for toxicity or unwanted side-effects is of crucial importance. In this work 2D topological fingerprints are used to encode atomic sites and three probabilistic machine learning methods are applied: Parzen-Rosenblatt Window (PRW), Naive Bayesian(NB) and a novel approach called RASCAL (Random Attribute Subsampling Classification ALgorithm). These are implemented by randomly subsampling descriptor space to alleviate the problem often suffered by data mining methods of having to exactly match fingerprints, and in the case of PRW by measuring a distance between feature vectors rather than exact matching. The classifiers have been implemented in CUDA/C++ to exploit the parallel architecture of graphical processing units (GPUs) and is freely available in a public repository.
Results:
It is shown that for PRW a SoM is identified in the top two predictions for 85%, 91% and 88% of the CYP 3A4, 2D6 and 2C9 data sets respectively, with RASCAL giving similar performance of 83%, 91% and 88%, respectively. These results put PRW and RASCAL performance ahead of NB which gave a much lower classification performance of 51%, 73% and 74%, respectively.
Conclusions:
2D topological fingerprints calculated to a bond depth of 4-6 contain sufficient information to allow the identification of SoMs using classifiers based on relatively small data sets. Thus, the machine learning methods outlined in this paper are conceptually simpler and more efficient than other methods tested and the use of simple topological descriptors derived from 2D structure give results competitive with other approaches using more expensive quantum chemical descriptors. The descriptor space subsampling approach and ensemble methodology allow the methods to be applied to molecules more distant from the training data where data mining would be more likely to fail due to the lack of common fingerprints. The RASCAL algorithm is shown to give equivalent classification performance to PRW but at lower computational expense allowing it to be applied more efficiently in the ensemble scheme.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/29 2014/05/28 - 16:28

Background:
The progress in computer-aided drug design (CADD) approaches over the past decades accelerated the early-stage pharmaceutical research. Many powerful standalone tools for CADD have been developed in academia. As programs are developed by various research groups, a consistent user-friendly online graphical working environment, combining computational techniques such as pharmacophore mapping, similarity calculation, scoring, and target identification is needed.
Results:
We presented a versatile, user-friendly, and efficient online tool for computer-aided drug design based on pharmacophore and 3D molecular similarity searching. The web interface enables binding sites detection, virtual screening hits identification, and drug targets prediction in an interactive manner through a seamless interface to all adapted packages (e.g., Cavity, PocketV.2, PharmMapper, SHAFTS). Several commercially available compound databases for hit identification and a well-annotated pharmacophore database for drug targets prediction were integrated in iDrug as well. The web interface provides tools for real-time molecular building/editing, converting, displaying, and analyzing. All the customized configurations of the functional modules can be accessed through featured session files provided, which can be saved to the local disk and uploaded to resume or update the history work.
Conclusions:
iDrug is easy to use, and provides a novel, fast and reliable tool for conducting drug design experiments. By using iDrug, various molecular design processing tasks can be submitted and visualized simply in one browser without installing locally any standalone modeling softwares. iDrug is accessible free of charge at http://lilab.ecust.edu.cn/idrug.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/28 2014/05/23 - 14:46

The properties of fragrance molecules in the public databases SuperScent and Flavornet were analyzed to define a "fragrance-like" (FL) property range (Heavy Atom Count <= 21, only C, H, O, S, (O + S) <= 3, Hydrogen Bond Donor <= 1) and the corresponding chemical space including FL molecules from PubChem (NIH repository of molecules), ChEMBL (bioactive molecules), ZINC (drug-like molecules), and GDB-13 (all possible organic molecules up to 13 atoms of C, N, O, S, Cl). The FL subsets of these databases were classified by MQN (Molecular Quantum Numbers, a set of 42 integer value descriptors of molecular structure) and formatted for fast MQN-similarity searching and interactive exploration of color-coded principal component maps in form of the FL-mapplet and FL-browser applications freely available at www.gdb.unibe.ch. MQN-similarity is shown to efficiently recover 15 different fragrance molecule families from the different FL subsets, demonstrating the relevance of the MQN-based tool to explore the fragrance chemical space.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/27 2014/05/23 - 14:46

Background:
Acute toxicity means the ability of a substance to cause adverse effects within a short period following dosing or exposure, which is usually the first step in the toxicological investigations of unknown substances. The median lethal dose, LD50, is frequently used as a general indicator of a substance's acute toxicity, and there is a high demand on developing non-animal-based prediction of LD50. Unfortunately, it is difficult to accurately predict compound LD50 using a single QSAR model, because the acute toxicity may involve complex mechanisms and multiple biochemical processes.
Results:
In this study, we reported the use of local lazy learning (LLL) methods, which could capture subtle local structure-toxicity relationships around each query compound, to develop LD50 prediction models: (a) local lazy regression (LLR): a linear regression model built using k neighbors; (b) SA: the arithmetical mean of the activities of k nearest neighbors; (c) SR: the weighted mean of the activities of k nearest neighbors; (d) GP: the projection point of the compound on the line defined by its two nearest neighbors. We defined the applicability domain (AD) to decide to what an extent and under what circumstances the prediction is reliable. In the end, we developed a consensus model based on the predicted values of individual LLL models, yielding correlation coefficients R2 of 0.712 on a test set containing 2,896 compounds.
Conclusion:
Encouraged by the promising results, we expect that our consensus LLL model of LD50 would become a useful tool for predicting acute toxicity. All models developed in this study are available via www.dddc.ac.cn/admetus.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/26 2014/05/16 - 21:17

Background:
Research efforts in the field of descriptive and predictive Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships or Quantitative Structure-property Relationships produce around one thousand scientific publications annually. All the materials and results are mainly communicated using printed media. The printed media in its present form have obvious limitations when they come to effectively representing mathematical models, including complex and non-linear, and large bodies of associated numerical chemical data. It is not supportive of secondary information extraction or reuse efforts while in silico studies poses additional requirements for accessibility, transparency and reproducibility of the research. This gap can and should be bridged by introducing domain-specific digital data exchange standards and tools. The current publication presents a formal specification of the quantitative structure-activity relationship data organization and archival format called the QSAR DataBank (QsarDB for shorter, or QDB for shortest).
Results:
The article describes QsarDB data schema, which formalizes QSAR concepts (objects and relationships between them) and QsarDB data format, which formalizes their presentation for computer systems. The utility and benefits of QsarDB have been thoroughly tested by solving everyday QSAR and predictive modeling problems, with examples in the field of predictive toxicology, and can be applied for a wide variety of other endpoints. The work is accompanied with open source reference implementation and tools.
Conclusions:
The proposed open data, open source, and open standards design is open to public and proprietary extensions on many levels. Selected use cases exemplify the benefits of the proposed QsarDB data format. General ideas for future development are discussed.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/25 2014/05/15 - 17:59

Background:
In many experimental pipelines, clustering of multidimensional biological datasets is used to detect hidden structures in unlabelled input data.Taverna is a popular workflow management system that is used to design and execute scientific workflows and aid in silico experimentation.The availability of fast unsupervised methods for clustering and visualization in the Taverna platform is important to support a data-driven scientific discovery in complex and explorative bioinformatics applications.
Results:
This work presents a Taverna plugin, the Biological Data Interactive Clustering Explorer (BioDICE), that performs clustering of high-dimensional biological data and provides a nonlinear, topology preserving projection for the visualization of the input data and their similarities.The core algorithm in the BioDICE plugin is Fast Learning Self Organizing Map (FLSOM), which is an improved variant of the Self Organizing Map (SOM) algorithm.The plugin generates an interactive 2D map that allows the visual exploration of multidimensional data and the identification of groups of similar objects.The effectiveness of the plugin is demonstrated on a case study related to chemical compounds.
Conclusions:
The number and variety of available tools and its extensibility have made Taverna a popular choice for the development of scientific data workflows.This work presents a novel plugin, BioDICE, which adds a data-driven knowledge discovery component to Taverna.BioDICE provides an effective and powerful clustering tool, which can be adopted for the explorative analysis of biological datasets.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/24 2014/05/14 - 08:28

Background:
Measures of similarity for chemical molecules have been developed since the dawn ofchemoinformatics. Molecular similarity has been measured by a variety of methods includingmolecular descriptor based similarity, common molecular fragments, graph matching and 3D methodssuch as shape matching. Similarity measures are widespread in practice and have proven to be usefulin drug discovery. Because of our interest in electrostatics and high throughput ligand-based virtualscreening, we sought to exploit the information contained in atomic coordinates and partial chargesof a molecule.
Results:
A new molecular descriptor based on partial charges is proposed. It uses the autocorrelation functionand linear binning to encode all atoms of a molecule into two rotation-translation invariant vectors.Combined with a scoring function, the descriptor allows to rank-order a database of compounds versusa query molecule. The proposed implementation is called ACPC (AutoCorrelation of Partial Charges)and released in open source. Extensive retrospective ligand-based virtual screening experiments wereperformed and other methods were compared with in order to validate the method and associatedprotocol.
Conclusions:
While it is a simple method, it performed remarkably well in experiments. At an average speed of1649 molecules per second, it reached an average median area under the curve of 0.81 on 40 differenttargets; hence validating the proposed protocol and implementation.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/23 2014/05/11 - 19:13

Background:
A challenge for drug of abuse testing is presented by 'designer drugs', compounds typically discovered by modifications of existing clinical drug classes such as amphetamines and cannabinoids. Drug of abuse screening immunoassays directed at amphetamine or methamphetamine only detect a small subset of designer amphetamine-like drugs, and those immunoassays designed for tetrahydrocannabinol metabolites generally do not cross-react with synthetic cannabinoids lacking the classic cannabinoid chemical backbone. This suggests complexity in understanding how to detect and identify whether a patient has taken a molecule of one class or another, impacting clinical care.
Methods:
Cross-reactivity data from immunoassays specifically targeting designer amphetamine-like and synthetic cannabinoid drugs was collected from multiple published sources, and virtual chemical libraries for molecular similarity analysis were built. The virtual library for synthetic cannabinoid analysis contained a total of 169 structures, while the virtual library for amphetamine-type stimulants contained 288 compounds. Two-dimensional (2D) similarity for each test compound was compared to the target molecule of the immunoassay undergoing analysis.
Results:
2D similarity differentiated between cross-reactive and non-cross-reactive compounds for immunoassays targeting mephedrone/methcathinone, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, benzylpiperazine, mephentermine, and synthetic cannabinoids.
Conclusions:
In this study, we applied 2D molecular similarity analysis to the designer amphetamine-type stimulants and synthetic cannabinoids. Similarity calculations can be used to more efficiently decide which drugs and metabolites should be tested in cross-reactivity studies, as well as to design experiments and potentially predict antigens that would lead to immunoassays with cross reactivity for a broader array of designer drugs.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/22 2014/05/10 - 11:30

Background:
Combining different sources of knowledge to build improved structure activity relationship models is not easy owing to the variety of knowledge formats and the absence of a common framework to interoperate between learning techniques. Most of the current approaches address this problem by using consensus models that operate at the prediction level. We explore the possibility to directly combine these sources at the knowledge level, with the aim to harvest potentially increased synergy at an earlier stage. Our goal is to design a general methodology to facilitate knowledge discovery and produce accurate and interpretable models.
Results:
To combine models at the knowledge level, we propose to decouple the learning phase from the knowledge application phase using a pivot representation (lingua franca) based on the concept of hypothesis. A hypothesis is a simple and interpretable knowledge unit. Regardless of its origin, knowledge is broken down into a collection of hypotheses. These hypotheses are subsequently organised into hierarchical network. This unification permits to combine different sources of knowledge into a common formalised framework. The approach allows us to create a synergistic system between different forms of knowledge and new algorithms can be applied to leverage this unified model. This first article focuses on the general principle of the Self Organising Hypothesis Network (SOHN) approach in the context of binary classification problems along with an illustrative application to the prediction of mutagenicity.
Conclusion:
It is possible to represent knowledge in the unified form of a hypothesis network allowing interpretable predictions with performances comparable to mainstream machine learning techniques. This new approach offers the potential to combine knowledge from different sources into a common framework in which high level reasoning and meta-learning can be applied; these latter perspectives will be explored in future work.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/21 2014/05/08 - 19:47

Chemical liabilities, such as adverse effects and toxicity, play a significant role in modern drug discovery process. In silico assessment of chemical liabilities is an important step aimed to reduce costs and animal testing by complementing or replacing in vitro and in vivo experiments. Herein, we propose an approach combining several classification and chemography methods to be able to predict chemical liabilities and to interpret obtained results in the context of impact of structural changes of compounds on their pharmacological profile. To our knowledge for the first time, the supervised extension of Generative Topographic Mapping is proposed as an effective new chemography method. New approach for mapping new data using supervised Isomap without re-building models from the scratch has been proposed. Two approaches for estimation of model's applicability domain are used in our study to our knowledge for the first time in chemoinformatics. The structural alerts responsible for the negative characteristics of pharmacological profile of chemical compounds has been found as a result of model interpretation.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/20 2014/05/08 - 19:47

Background:
It is known that any individual similarity measure will not always give the best recall of active molecule structure for all types of activity classes. Recently, the effectiveness of ligand-based virtual screening approaches can be enhanced by using data fusion. Data fusion can be implemented using two different approaches: group fusion and similarity fusion. Similarity fusion involves searching using multiple similarity measures. The similarity scores, or ranking, for each similarity measure are combined to obtain the final ranking of the compounds in the database.
Results:
The Condorcet fusion method was examined. This approach combines the outputs of similarity searches from eleven association and distance similarity coefficients, and then the winner measure for each class of molecules, based on Condorcet fusion, was chosen to be the best method of searching. The recall of retrieved active molecules at top 5% and significant test are used to evaluate our proposed method. The MDL drug data report (MDDR), maximum unbiased validation (MUV) and Directory of Useful Decoys (DUD) data sets were used for experiments and were represented by 2D fingerprints.
Conclusions:
Simulated virtual screening experiments with the standard two data sets show that the use of Condorcet fusion provides a very simple way of improving the ligand-based virtual screening, especially when the active molecules being sought have a lowest degree of structural heterogeneity. However, the effectiveness of the Condorcet fusion was increased slightly when structural sets of high diversity activities were being sought.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/19 2014/05/05 - 19:26

Background:
The drug discovery process is now highly dependent on the management, curation and integration of large amounts of potentially useful data. Semantics are necessary in order to interpret the information and derive knowledge. Advances in recent years have mitigated concerns that the lack of robust, usable tools has inhibited the adoption of methodologies based on semantics.
Results:
This paper presents three examples of how Semantic Web techniques and technologies can be used in order to support chemistry research: a controlled vocabulary for quantities, units and symbols in physical chemistry; a controlled vocabulary for the classification and labelling of chemical substances and mixtures; and, a database of chemical identifiers. This paper also presents a Web-based service that uses the datasets in order to assist with the completion of risk assessment forms, along with a discussion of the legal implications and value-proposition for the use of such a service.
Conclusions:
We have introduced the Semantic Web concepts, technologies, and methodologies that can be used to support chemistry research, and have demonstrated the application of those techniques in three areas very relevant to modern chemistry research, generating three new datasets that we offer as exemplars of an extensible portfolio of advanced data integration facilities. We have thereby established the importance of Semantic Web techniques and technologies for meeting Wild's fourth "grand challenge".

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/18 2014/04/28 - 18:14

The rapid increase in the flow rate of published digital information in all disciplines has resulted in a pressing need for techniques that can simplify the use of this information. The chemistry literature is very rich with information about chemical entities. Extracting molecules and their related properties and activities from the scientific literature to "text mine" these extracted data and determine contextual relationships helps research scientists, particularly those in drug development. One of the most important challenges in chemical text mining is the recognition of chemical entities mentioned in the texts. In this review, the authors briefly introduce the fundamental concepts of chemical literature mining, the textual contents of chemical documents, and the methods of naming chemicals in documents. We sketch out dictionary-based, rule-based and machine learning, as well as hybrid chemical named entity recognition approaches with their applied solutions. We end with an outlook on the pros and cons of these approaches and the types of chemical entities extracted.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/17 2014/04/28 - 18:14

Background:
Identification of ligand-protein binding interactions is a critical step in drug discovery. Experimental screening of large chemical libraries, in spite of their specific role and importance in drug discovery, suffer from the disadvantages of being random, time-consuming and expensive. To accelerate the process, traditional structure- or ligand-based VLS approaches are combined with experimental high-throughput screening, HTS. Often a single protein or, at most, a protein family is considered. Large scale VLS benchmarking across diverse protein families is rarely done, and the reported success rate is very low. Here, we demonstrate the experimental HTS validation of a novel VLS approach, FINDSITEcomb, across a diverse set of medically-relevant proteins.
Results:
For eight different proteins belonging to different fold-classes and from diverse organisms, the top 1% of FINDSITEcomb's VLS predictions were tested, and depending on the protein target, 4%-47% of the predicted ligands were shown to bind with muM or better affinities. In total, 47 small molecule binders were identified. Low nanomolar (nM) binders for dihydrofolate reductase and protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) and micromolar binders for the other proteins were identified. Six novel molecules had cytotoxic activity (<10 mug/ml) against the HCT-116 colon carcinoma cell line and one novel molecule had potent antibacterial activity.
Conclusions:
We show that FINDSITEcomb is a promising new VLS approach that can assist drug discovery.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/16 2014/04/26 - 12:05

Background:
There are many databases of small molecules focused on different aspects of research and its applications. Some tasks may require integration of information from various databases. However, determining which entries from different databases represent the same compound is not straightforward. Integration can be based, for example, on automatically generated cross-reference links between entries. Another approach is to use the manually curated links stored directly in databases. This study employs well-established InChI identifiers to measure the consistency and completeness of the manually curated links by comparing them with the automatically generated ones.
Results:
We used two different tools to generate InChI identifiers and observed some ambiguities in their outputs. In part, these ambiguities were caused by indistinctness in interpretation of the structural data used. InChI identifiers were used successfully to find duplicate entries in databases. We found that the InChI inconsistencies in the manually curated links are very high (.85% in the worst case). Even using a weaker definition of consistency, the measured values were very high in general. The completeness of the manually curated links was also very poor (only 93.8% in the best case) compared with that of the automatically generated links.
Conclusions:
We observed several problems with the InChI tools and the files used as their inputs. There are large gaps in the consistency and completeness of manually curated links if they are measured using InChI identifiers. However, inconsistency can be caused both by errors in manually curated links and the inherent limitations of the InChI method.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/15 2014/04/19 - 04:40

Background:
There are many databases of small molecules focused on different aspects of research and its applications. Some tasks may require integration of information from various databases. However, determining which entries from different databases represent the same compound is not straightforward. Integration can be based, for example, on automatically generated cross-reference links between entries. Another approach is to use the manually curated links stored directly in databases. This study employs well-established InChI identifiers to measure the consistency and completeness of the manually curated links by comparing them with the automatically generated ones.
Results:
We used two different tools to generate InChI identifiers and observed some ambiguities in their outputs. In part, these ambiguities were caused by indistinctness in interpretation of the structural data used. InChI identifiers were used successfully to find duplicate entries in databases. We found that the InChI inconsistencies in the manually curated links are very high (.85% in the worst case). Even using a weaker definition of consistency, the measured values were very high in general. The completeness of the manually curated links was also very poor (only 93.8% in the best case) compared with that of the automatically generated links.
Conclusions:
We observed several problems with the InChI tools and the files used as their inputs. There are large gaps in the consistency and completeness of manually curated links if they are measured using InChI identifiers. However, inconsistency can be caused both by errors in manually curated links and the inherent limitations of the InChI method.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/15 2014/04/19 - 04:40

Background:
Protein-based pharmacophore models are enriched with the information of potential interactions between ligands and the protein target. We have shown in a previous study that protein-based pharmacophore models can be applied for ligand pose prediction and pose ranking. In this publication, we present a new pharmacophore-based docking program PharmDock that combines pose sampling and ranking based on optimized protein-based pharmacophore models with local optimization using an empirical scoring function.
Results:
Tests of PharmDock on ligand pose prediction, binding affinity estimation, compound ranking and virtual screening yielded comparable or better performance to existing and widely used docking programs. The docking program comes with an easy-to-use GUI within PyMOL. Two features have been incorporated in the program suite that allow for user-defined guidance of the docking process based on previous experimental data. Docking with those features demonstrated superior performance compared to unbiased docking.
Conclusion:
A protein pharmacophore-based docking program, PharmDock, has been made available with a PyMOL plugin. PharmDock and the PyMOL plugin are freely available from http://people.pharmacy.purdue.edu/~mlill/software/pharmdock.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/14 2014/04/19 - 04:40

Background:
Protein-based pharmacophore models are enriched with the information of potential interactions between ligands and the protein target. We have shown in a previous study that protein-based pharmacophore models can be applied for ligand pose prediction and pose ranking. In this publication, we present a new pharmacophore-based docking program PharmDock that combines pose sampling and ranking based on optimized protein-based pharmacophore models with local optimization using an empirical scoring function.
Results:
Tests of PharmDock on ligand pose prediction, binding affinity estimation, compound ranking and virtual screening yielded comparable or better performance to existing and widely used docking programs. The docking program comes with an easy-to-use GUI within PyMOL. Two features have been incorporated in the program suite that allow for user-defined guidance of the docking process based on previous experimental data. Docking with those features demonstrated superior performance compared to unbiased docking.
Conclusion:
A protein pharmacophore-based docking program, PharmDock, has been made available with a PyMOL plugin. PharmDock and the PyMOL plugin are freely available from http://people.pharmacy.purdue.edu/~mlill/software/pharmdock.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/14 2014/04/19 - 04:40

Background:
Modern medicine often clashes with traditional medicine such as Chinese herbal medicine because of the little understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of the herbs. In an effort to promote integration of both sides and to accelerate the drug discovery from herbal medicines, an efficient systems pharmacology platform that represents ideal information convergence of pharmacochemistry, ADME properties, drug-likeness, drug targets, associated diseases and interaction networks, are urgently needed.Description: The traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform (TCMSP) was built based on the framework of systems pharmacology for herbal medicines. It consists of all the 499 Chinese herbs registered in the Chinese pharmacopoeia with 29,384 ingredients, 3,311 targets and 837 associated diseases. Twelve important ADME-related properties like human oral bioavailability, half-life, drug-likeness, Caco-2 permeability, blood-brain barrier and Lipinski's rule of five are provided for drug screening and evaluation. TCMSP also provides drug targets and diseases of each active compound, which can automatically establish the compound-target and target-disease networks that let users view and analyze the drug action mechanisms. It is designed to fuel the development of herbal medicines and to promote integration of modern medicine and traditional medicine for drug discovery and development.
Conclusions:
The particular strengths of TCMSP are the composition of the large number of herbal entries, and the ability to identify drug-target networks and drug-disease networks, which will help revealing the mechanisms of action of Chinese herbs, uncovering the nature of TCM theory and developing new herb-oriented drugs. TCMSP is freely available at http://sm.nwsuaf.edu.cn/lsp/tcmsp.php.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/13 2014/04/19 - 04:40

Background:
Modern medicine often clashes with traditional medicine such as Chinese herbal medicine because of the little understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of the herbs. In an effort to promote integration of both sides and to accelerate the drug discovery from herbal medicines, an efficient systems pharmacology platform that represents ideal information convergence of pharmacochemistry, ADME properties, drug-likeness, drug targets, associated diseases and interaction networks, are urgently needed.Description: The traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology database and analysis platform (TCMSP) was built based on the framework of systems pharmacology for herbal medicines. It consists of all the 499 Chinese herbs registered in the Chinese pharmacopoeia with 29,384 ingredients, 3,311 targets and 837 associated diseases. Twelve important ADME-related properties like human oral bioavailability, half-life, drug-likeness, Caco-2 permeability, blood-brain barrier and Lipinski's rule of five are provided for drug screening and evaluation. TCMSP also provides drug targets and diseases of each active compound, which can automatically establish the compound-target and target-disease networks that let users view and analyze the drug action mechanisms. It is designed to fuel the development of herbal medicines and to promote integration of modern medicine and traditional medicine for drug discovery and development.
Conclusions:
The particular strengths of TCMSP are the composition of the large number of herbal entries, and the ability to identify drug-target networks and drug-disease networks, which will help revealing the mechanisms of action of Chinese herbs, uncovering the nature of TCM theory and developing new herb-oriented drugs. TCMSP is freely available at http://sm.nwsuaf.edu.cn/lsp/tcmsp.php.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/13 2014/04/19 - 04:40

The calculation of hydrogen positions is a common preprocessing step when working with crystal structures of protein-ligand complexes. An explicit description of hydrogen atoms is generally needed in order to analyze the binding mode of particular ligands or to calculate the associated binding energies. Due to the large number of degrees of freedom resulting from different chemical moieties and the high degree of mutual dependence this problem is anything but trivial. In addition to an efficient algorithm to take care of the complexity resulting from complicated hydrogen bonding networks, a robust chemical model is needed to describe effects such as tautomerism and ionization consistently. We present a novel method for the placement of hydrogen coordinates in protein-ligand complexes which takes tautomers and protonation states of both protein and ligand into account. Our method generates the most probable hydrogen positions on the basis of an optimal hydrogen bonding network using an empirical scoring function. The high quality of our results could be verified by comparison to the manually adjusted Astex diverse set and a remarkably low rate of undesirable hydrogen contacts compared to other tools.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/12 2014/04/04 - 19:27

Background:
Most work on the topic of activity landscapes has focused on their quantitative description and visual representation, with the aim of aiding navigation of SAR. Recent developments have addressed applications such as quantifying the proportion of activity cliffs, investigating the predictive abilities of activity landscape methods and so on. However, all these publications have worked under the assumption that the activity landscape models are "real" (i.e., statistically significant).
Results:
The current study addresses for the first time, in a quantitative manner, the significance of a landscape or individual cliffs in the landscape. In particular, we question whether the activity landscape derived from observed (experimental) activity data is different from a randomly generated landscape. To address this we used the SALI measure with six different data sets tested against one or more molecular targets. We also assessed the significance of the landscapes for single and multiple representations.
Conclusions:
We find that non-random landscapes are data set and molecular representation dependent. For the data sets and representations used in this work, our results suggest that not all representations lead to non-random landscapes. This indicates that not all molecular representations should be used to a) interpret the SAR and b) combined to generate consensus models. Our results suggest that significance testing of activity landscape models and in particular, activity cliffs, is key, prior to the use of such models.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/11 2014/04/04 - 19:27

Background:
We address the problem of selecting and assessing classification and regression models using cross-validation. Current state-of-the-art methods can yield models with high variance, rendering them unsuitable for a number of practical applications including QSAR. In this paper we describe and evaluate best practices which improve reliability and increase confidence in selected models. A key operational component of the proposed methods is cloud computing which enables routine use of previously infeasible approaches.
Methods:
We describe in detail an algorithm for repeated grid-search V-fold cross-validation for parameter tuning in classification and regression, and we define a repeated nested cross-validation algorithm for model assessment. As regards variable selection and parameter tuning we define two algorithms (repeated grid-search cross-validation and double cross-validation), and provide arguments for using the repeated grid-search in the general case.
Results:
We show results of our algorithms on seven QSAR datasets. The variation of the prediction performance, which is the result of choosing different splits of the dataset in V-fold cross-validation, needs to be taken into account when selecting and assessing classification and regression models.
Conclusions:
We demonstrate the importance of repeating cross-validation when selecting an optimal model, as well as the importance of repeating nested cross-validation when assessing a prediction error.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/10 2014/03/31 - 20:40

A methodology based on spectral similarity is presented that allows to compare NMR predictors without the recourse to assigned experimental spectra, thereby making the task of benchmarking NMR predictors less tedious, faster, and less prone to human error. This approach was used to compare four popular NMR predictors using a dataset of 1000 molecules and their corresponding experimental spectra. The results found were consistent with those obtained by directly comparing deviations between predicted and experimental shifts.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/9 2014/03/26 - 12:36

Background:
A new algorithm has been developed to enable the interpretation of black box models. The developed algorithm is agnostic to learning algorithm and open to all structural based descriptors such as fragments, keys and hashed fingerprints. The algorithm has provided meaningful interpretation of Ames mutagenicity predictions from both random forest and support vector machine models built on a variety of structural fingerprints.A fragmentation algorithm is utilised to investigate the model's behaviour on specific substructures present in the query. An output is formulated summarising causes of activation and deactivation. The algorithm is able to identify multiple causes of activation or deactivation in addition to identifying localised deactivations where the prediction for the query is active overall. No loss in performance is seen as there is no change in the prediction; the interpretation is produced directly on the model's behaviour for the specific query.
Results:
Models have been built using multiple learning algorithms including support vector machine and random forest. The models were built on public Ames mutagenicity data and a variety of fingerprint descriptors were used. These models produced a good performance in both internal and external validation with accuracies around 82%. The models were used to evaluate the interpretation algorithm. Interpretation was revealed that links closely with understood mechanisms for Ames mutagenicity.
Conclusion:
This methodology allows for a greater utilisation of the predictions made by black box models and can expedite further study based on the output for a (quantitative) structure activity model. Additionally the algorithm could be utilised for chemical dataset investigation and knowledge extraction / human SAR development.

http://www.jcheminf.com/content/6/1/8 2014/03/26 - 12:36