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J Cheminform. 2013 May 30;5(1):26. doi: 10.1186/1758-2946-5-26.

Open-source platform to benchmark fingerprints for ligand-based virtual screening.

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1
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Basel, Switzerland. gregory.landrum@novartis.com.

Abstract

: Similarity-search methods using molecular fingerprints are an important tool for ligand-based virtual screening. A huge variety of fingerprints exist and their performance, usually assessed in retrospective benchmarking studies using data sets with known actives and known or assumed inactives, depends largely on the validation data sets used and the similarity measure used. Comparing new methods to existing ones in any systematic way is rather difficult due to the lack of standard data sets and evaluation procedures. Here, we present a standard platform for the benchmarking of 2D fingerprints. The open-source platform contains all source code, structural data for the actives and inactives used (drawn from three publicly available collections of data sets), and lists of randomly selected query molecules to be used for statistically valid comparisons of methods. This allows the exact reproduction and comparison of results for future studies. The results for 12 standard fingerprints together with two simple baseline fingerprints assessed by seven evaluation methods are shown together with the correlations between methods. High correlations were found between the 12 fingerprints and a careful statistical analysis showed that only the two baseline fingerprints were different from the others in a statistically significant way. High correlations were also found between six of the seven evaluation methods, indicating that despite their seeming differences, many of these methods are similar to each other.

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