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Sliced Denoising: A Physics-Informed Molecular Pre-Training Method

yuyan ni · Shikun Feng · Wei-Ying Ma · Zhi-Ming Ma · Yanyan Lan

Halle B #11
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


While molecular pre-training has shown great potential in enhancing drug discovery, the lack of a solid physical interpretation in current methods raises concerns about whether the learned representation truly captures the underlying explanatory factors in observed data, ultimately resulting in limited generalization and robustness. Although denoising methods offer a physical interpretation, their accuracy is often compromised by ad-hoc noise design, leading to inaccurate learned force fields. To address this limitation, this paper proposes a new method for molecular pre-training, called sliced denoising (SliDe), which is based on the classical mechanical intramolecular potential theory. SliDe utilizes a novel noise strategy that perturbs bond lengths, angles, and torsion angles to achieve better sampling over conformations. Additionally, it introduces a random slicing approach that circumvents the computationally expensive calculation of the Jacobian matrix, which is otherwise essential for estimating the force field. By aligning with physical principles, SliDe shows a 42\% improvement in the accuracy of estimated force fields compared to current state-of-the-art denoising methods, and thus outperforms traditional baselines on various molecular property prediction tasks.

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