Putting Chemical Knowledge to Work in Machine Learning for Reactivity







Digital chemistry, Machine learning, Reactivity


Machine learning has been used to study chemical reactivity for a long time in fields such as physical organic chemistry, chemometrics and cheminformatics. Recent advances in computer science have resulted in deep neural networks that can learn directly from the molecular structure. Neural networks are a good choice when large amounts of data are available. However, many datasets in chemistry are small, and models utilizing chemical knowledge are required for good performance. Adding chemical knowledge can be achieved either by adding more information about the molecules or by adjusting the model architecture itself. The current method of choice for adding more information is descriptors based on computed quantum-chemical properties. Exciting new research directions show that it is possible to augment deep learning with such descriptors for better performance in the low-data regime. To modify the models, differentiable programming enables seamless merging of neural networks with mathematical models from chemistry and physics. The resulting methods are also more data-efficient and make better predictions for molecules that are different from the initial dataset on which they were trained. Application of these chemistry-informed machine learning methods promise to accelerate research in fields such as drug design, materials design, catalysis and reactivity.




How to Cite

K. Jorner, Chimia 2023, 77, 22, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2023.22.