NIPS Proceedingsβ

Deep imitation learning for molecular inverse problems

Part of: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NIPS 2019) pre-proceedings

[PDF] [BibTeX] [Supplemental]

Authors

Conference Event Type: Poster

Abstract

Many measurement modalities arise from well-understood physical processes and result in information-rich but difficult-to-interpret data. Much of this data still requires laborious human interpretation. This is the case in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, where the observed spectrum of a molecule provides a distinguishing fingerprint of its bond structure. Here we solve the resulting inverse problem: given a molecular formula and a spectrum, can we infer the chemical structure? We show for a wide variety of molecules we can quickly compute the correct molecular structure, and can detect with reasonable certainty when our method cannot. We treat this as a problem of graph-structured prediction, where armed with per-vertex information on a subset of the vertices, we infer the edges and edge types. We frame the problem as a Markov decision process (MDP) and incrementally construct molecules one bond at a time, training a deep neural network via imitation learning, where we learn to imitate a subisomorphic oracle which knows which remaining bonds are correct. Our method is fast, accurate, and is the first among recent chemical-graph generation approaches to exploit per-vertex information and generate graphs with vertex constraints. Our method points the way towards automation of molecular structure identification and potentially active learning for spectroscopy.