Producing 3D Molecular Conformers through Equivariant Coarse-Graining and Aggregated Consideration – The Berkeley Synthetic Intelligence Analysis Weblog


Determine 1: CoarsenConf structure.

Molecular conformer technology is a basic activity in computational chemistry. The target is to foretell secure low-energy 3D molecular constructions, referred to as conformers, given the 2D molecule. Correct molecular conformations are essential for numerous purposes that depend upon exact spatial and geometric qualities, together with drug discovery and protein docking.

We introduce CoarsenConf, an SE(3)-equivariant hierarchical variational autoencoder (VAE) that swimming pools data from fine-grain atomic coordinates to a coarse-grain subgraph degree illustration for environment friendly autoregressive conformer technology.


Coarse-graining reduces the dimensionality of the issue permitting conditional autoregressive technology quite than producing all coordinates independently, as completed in prior work. By straight conditioning on the 3D coordinates of prior generated subgraphs, our mannequin higher generalizes throughout chemically and spatially comparable subgraphs. This mimics the underlying molecular synthesis course of, the place small useful models bond collectively to type massive drug-like molecules. In contrast to prior strategies, CoarsenConf generates low-energy conformers with the flexibility to mannequin atomic coordinates, distances, and torsion angles straight.

The CoarsenConf structure will be damaged into the next elements:
(I) The encoder $q_phi(z| X, mathcal{R})$ takes the fine-grained (FG) floor reality conformer $X$, RDKit approximate conformer $mathcal{R}$ , and coarse-grained (CG) conformer $mathcal{C}$ as inputs (derived from $X$ and a predefined CG technique), and outputs a variable-length equivariant CG illustration through equivariant message passing and level convolutions.
(II) Equivariant MLPs are utilized to study the imply and log variance of each the posterior and prior distributions.
(III) The posterior (coaching) or prior (inference) is sampled and fed into the Channel Choice module, the place an consideration layer is used to study the optimum pathway from CG to FG construction.
(IV) Given the FG latent vector and the RDKit approximation, the decoder $p_theta(X |mathcal{R}, z)$ learns to get better the low-energy FG construction by autoregressive equivariant message passing. The whole mannequin will be educated end-to-end by optimizing the KL divergence of latent distributions and reconstruction error of generated conformers.

MCG Process Formalism

We formalize the duty of Molecular Conformer Technology (MCG) as modeling the conditional distribution $p(X|mathcal{R})$, the place $mathcal{R}$ is the RDKit generated approximate conformer and $X$ is the optimum low-energy conformer(s). RDKit, a generally used Cheminformatics library, makes use of an inexpensive distance geometry-based algorithm, adopted by a reasonable physics-based optimization, to attain cheap conformer approximations.


Determine 2: Coarse-graining Process.
(I) Instance of variable-length coarse-graining. Wonderful-grain molecules are break up alongside rotatable bonds that outline torsion angles. They’re then coarse-grained to cut back the dimensionality and study a subgraph-level latent distribution. (II) Visualization of a 3D conformer. Particular atom pairs are highlighted for decoder message-passing operations.

Molecular coarse-graining simplifies a molecule illustration by grouping the fine-grained (FG) atoms within the unique construction into particular person coarse-grained (CG) beads $mathcal{B}$ with a rule-based mapping, as proven in Determine 2(I). Coarse-graining has been extensively utilized in protein and molecular design, and analogously fragment-level or subgraph-level technology has confirmed to be extremely beneficial in various 2D molecule design duties. Breaking down generative issues into smaller items is an method that may be utilized to a number of 3D molecule duties and gives a pure dimensionality discount to allow working with massive advanced techniques.

We word that in comparison with prior works that concentrate on fixed-length CG methods the place every molecule is represented with a hard and fast decision of $N$ CG beads, our technique makes use of variable-length CG for its flexibility and skill to help any alternative of coarse-graining method. Which means a single CoarsenConf mannequin can generalize to any coarse-grained decision as enter molecules can map to any variety of CG beads. In our case, the atoms consisting of every linked element ensuing from severing all rotatable bonds are coarsened right into a single bead. This alternative in CG process implicitly forces the mannequin to study over torsion angles, in addition to atomic coordinates and inter-atomic distances. In our experiments, we use GEOM-QM9 and GEOM-DRUGS, which on common, possess 11 atoms and three CG beads, and 44 atoms and 9 CG beads, respectively.


A key side when working with 3D constructions is sustaining acceptable equivariance.
Three-dimensional molecules are equivariant below rotations and translations, or SE(3)-equivariance. We implement SE(3)-equivariance within the encoder, decoder, and the latent house of our probabilistic mannequin CoarsenConf. In consequence, $p(X | mathcal{R})$ stays unchanged for any rototranslation of the approximate conformer $mathcal{R}$. Moreover, if $mathcal{R}$ is rotated clockwise by 90°, we anticipate the optimum $X$ to exhibit the identical rotation. For an in-depth definition and dialogue on the strategies of sustaining equivariance, please see the complete paper.

Aggregated Consideration

Determine 3: Variable-length coarse-to-fine backmapping through Aggregated Consideration.

We introduce a technique, which we name Aggregated Consideration, to study the optimum variable size mapping from the latent CG illustration to FG coordinates. It is a variable-length operation as a single molecule with $n$ atoms can map to any variety of $N$ CG beads (every bead is represented by a single latent vector). The latent vector of a single CG bead $Z_{B}$ $in R^{F occasions 3}$ is used as the important thing and worth of a single head consideration operation with an embedding dimension of three to match the x, y, z coordinates. The question vector is the subset of the RDKit conformer comparable to bead $B$ $in R^{ n_{B} occasions 3}$, the place $n_B$ is variable-length as we all know a priori what number of FG atoms correspond to a sure CG bead. Leveraging consideration, we effectively study the optimum mixing of latent options for FG reconstruction. We name this Aggregated Consideration as a result of it aggregates 3D segments of FG data to type our latent question. Aggregated Consideration is answerable for the environment friendly translation from the latent CG illustration to viable FG coordinates (Determine 1(III)).


CoarsenConf is a hierarchical VAE with an SE(3)-equivariant encoder and decoder. The encoder operates over SE(3)-invariant atom options $h in R^{ n occasions D}$, and SE(3)-equivariant atomistic coordinates $x in R^{n occasions 3}$. A single encoder layer consists of three modules: fine-grained, pooling, and coarse-grained. Full equations for every module will be discovered within the full paper. The encoder produces a last equivariant CG tensor $Z in R^{N occasions F occasions 3}$, the place $N$ is the variety of beads, and F is the user-defined latent measurement.

The position of the decoder is two-fold. The primary is to transform the latent coarsened illustration again into FG house by a course of we name channel choice, which leverages Aggregated Consideration. The second is to refine the fine-grained illustration autoregressively to generate the ultimate low-energy coordinates (Determine 1 (IV)).

We emphasize that by coarse-graining by torsion angle connectivity, our mannequin learns the optimum torsion angles in an unsupervised method because the conditional enter to the decoder just isn’t aligned. CoarsenConf ensures every subsequent generated subgraph is rotated correctly to attain a low coordinate and distance error.

Experimental Outcomes

Desk 1: High quality of generated conformer ensembles for the GEOM-DRUGS check set ($delta=0.75Å$) by way of Protection (%) and Common RMSD ($Å$). CoarsenConf (5 epochs) was restricted to utilizing 7.3% of the info utilized by Torsional Diffusion (250 epochs) to exemplify a low-compute and data-constrained regime.

The common error (AR) is the important thing metric that measures the common RMSD for the generated molecules of the suitable check set. Protection measures the proportion of molecules that may be generated inside a particular error threshold ($delta$). We introduce the imply and max metrics to raised assess strong technology and keep away from the sampling bias of the min metric. We emphasize that the min metric produces intangible outcomes, as except the optimum conformer is understood a priori, there isn’t a technique to know which of the 2L generated conformers for a single molecule is greatest. Desk 1 reveals that CoarsenConf generates the bottom common and worst-case error throughout the whole check set of DRUGS molecules. We additional present that RDKit, with a reasonable physics-based optimization (MMFF), achieves higher protection than most deep learning-based strategies. For formal definitions of the metrics and additional discussions, please see the complete paper linked under.

For extra particulars about CoarsenConf, learn the paper on arXiv.


If CoarsenConf conjures up your work, please think about citing it with:

      title={CoarsenConf: Equivariant Coarsening with Aggregated Consideration for Molecular Conformer Technology},
      writer={Danny Reidenbach and Aditi S. Krishnapriyan},
      journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:2306.14852},
      12 months={2023},


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