Torsional Diffusion for Molecular Conformer GenerationDownload PDF

Published: 31 Oct 2022, Last Modified: 22 Oct 2023NeurIPS 2022 AcceptReaders: Everyone
Keywords: conformer generation, diffusion models, score-based models, molecular structure, equivariance, geometric deep learning, Boltzmann generator
TL;DR: Fast and accurate conformer generation via diffusion modeling over torsion angles.
Abstract: Molecular conformer generation is a fundamental task in computational chemistry. Several machine learning approaches have been developed, but none have outperformed state-of-the-art cheminformatics methods. We propose torsional diffusion, a novel diffusion framework that operates on the space of torsion angles via a diffusion process on the hypertorus and an extrinsic-to-intrinsic score model. On a standard benchmark of drug-like molecules, torsional diffusion generates superior conformer ensembles compared to machine learning and cheminformatics methods in terms of both RMSD and chemical properties, and is orders of magnitude faster than previous diffusion-based models. Moreover, our model provides exact likelihoods, which we employ to build the first generalizable Boltzmann generator. Code is available at
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