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De Novo Molecular Generation via Connection-aware Motif Mining

Zijie Geng · Shufang Xie · Yingce Xia · Lijun Wu · Tao Qin · Jie Wang · Yongdong Zhang · Feng Wu · Tie-Yan Liu

MH1-2-3-4 #89

Keywords: [ Machine Learning for Sciences ] [ Motifs mining ] [ molecular generation ] [ graph generation ]


De novo molecular generation is an essential task for science discovery. Recently, fragment-based deep generative models have attracted much research attention due to their flexibility in generating novel molecules based on existing molecule fragments. However, the motif vocabulary, i.e., the collection of frequent fragments, is usually built upon heuristic rules, which brings difficulties to capturing common substructures from large amounts of molecules. In this work, we propose MiCaM to generate molecules based on mined connection-aware motifs. Specifically, it leverages a data-driven algorithm to automatically discover motifs from a molecule library by iteratively merging subgraphs based on their frequency. The obtained motif vocabulary consists of not only molecular motifs (i.e., the frequent fragments), but also their connection information, indicating how the motifs are connected with each other. Based on the mined connection-aware motifs, MiCaM builds a connection-aware generator, which simultaneously picks up motifs and determines how they are connected. We test our method on distribution-learning benchmarks (i.e., generating novel molecules to resemble the distribution of a given training set) and goal-directed benchmarks (i.e., generating molecules with target properties), and achieve significant improvements over previous fragment-based baselines. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our method can effectively mine domain-specific motifs for different tasks.

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