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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal International Journal of Quantum Chemistry
Page(s) 1083
Title of proceedings International Journal of Quantum Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/qua.24912

Open Access


We introduce a fingerprint representation of molecules based on a Fourier series of atomic radial distribution functions. This fingerprint is unique (except for chirality), continuous, and differentiable with respect to atomic coordinates and nuclear charges. It is invariant with respect to translation, rotation, and nuclear permutation, and requires no preconceived knowledge about chemical bonding, topology, or electronic orbitals. As such, it meets many important criteria for a good molecular representation, suggesting its usefulness for machine learning models of molecular properties trained across chemical compound space. To assess the performance of this new descriptor, we have trained machine learning models of molecular enthalpies of atomization for training sets with up to 10 k organic molecules, drawn at random from a published set of 134 k organic molecules with an average atomization enthalpy of over 1770 kcal/mol. We validate the descriptor on all remaining molecules of the 134 k set. For a training set of 10 k molecules, the fingerprint descriptor achieves a mean absolute error of 8.0 kcal/mol. This is slightly worse than the performance attained using the Coulomb matrix, another popular alternative, reaching 6.2 kcal/mol for the same training and test sets.