Machine learning to predict the specific optical rotations of chiral fluorinated molecules

Mengyao Chen, Ting Wu, Kaixia Xiao, Tanfeng Zhao, Yanmei Zhou, Qingyou Zhang, Joao Aires-de-Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


A chemoinformatics method was applied to the assignment of absolute configurations and to the quantitative prediction of specific optical rotations using a data set of 88 chiral fluorinated molecules (44 pairs of enantiomers). Counterpropagation neural networks were explored for the classification of enantiomers as dextrorotatory or levorotatory. Regression models were trained using multilayer perceptrons (MLP), random forests (RF) or multilinear regressions (MLR), on the basis of physicochemical atomic stereo (PAS) descriptors. New descriptors were also derived considering the common structural features of the data set (cPAS descriptors), which enabled RF models to predict the whole data set with R = 0.964, mean absolute error (MAE) of 9.8° and root mean square error (RMSE) of 12.5° in leave-one-pair-out cross-validation experiments. The predictions for the 30 compounds measured in chloroform were obtained with R = 0.971, MAE = 9.1° and RMSE = 12.5°, which compares favorably with quantum chemistry calculations reported in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117289
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019


  • Chiral fluorinated molecules
  • Chirality
  • Machine learning
  • Molecular descriptors
  • Specific optical rotation

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