, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 617-628

A machine learning approach to computer-aided molecular design

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Summary

Preliminary results of a machine learning application concerning computer-aided molecular design applied to drug discovery are presented. The artificial intelligence techniques of machine learning use a sample of active and inactive compounds, which is viewed as a set of positive and negative examples, to allow the induction of a molecular model characterizing the interaction between the compounds and a target molecule. The algorithm is based on a twofold phase. In the first one — the specialization step — the program identifies a number of active/inactive pairs of compounds which appear to be the most useful in order to make the learning process as effective as possible and generates a dictionary of molecular fragments, deemed to be responsible for the activity of the compounds. In the second phase — the generalization step — the fragments thus generated are combined and generalized in order to select the most plausible hypothesis with respect to the sample of compounds. A knowledge base concerning physical and chemical properties is utilized during the inductive process.