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A domain-label-guided translation model for molecular optimization.

Molecular optimization, which aims to improve molecular properties by modifying complex molecular structures, is a crucial and challenging task in drug discovery. In recent years, translation models provide a promising way to transform low-property molecules to high-property molecules, which enables molecular optimization to achieve remarkable progress. However, most existing models require matched molecular pairs, which are prone to be limited by the datasets. Although some models do not require matched molecular pairs, their performance is usually sacrificed due to the lack of useful supervising information. To address this issue, a domain-label-guided translation model is proposed in this paper, namely DLTM. In the model, the domain label information of molecules is exploited as a control condition to obtain different embedding representations, enabling the model to generate diverse molecules. Besides, the model adopts a classifier network to identify the property categories of transformed molecules, guiding the model to generate molecules with desired properties. The performance of DLTM is verified on two optimization tasks, namely the quantitative estimation of drug-likeness and penalized logP. Experimental results show that the proposed DLTM is superior to the compared baseline models.

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