DECIMER - Towards Deep Learning for Chemical Image Recognition

20 August 2020, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The automatic recognition of chemical structure diagrams from the literature is an indispensable component of workflows to re-discover information about chemicals and to make it available in open-access databases. Here we report preliminary findings in our development of DECIMER (Deep lEarning for Chemical ImagE Recognition), a deep learning method based on existing show-and-tell deep neural networks which makes very few assumptions about the structure of the underlying problem. The training state reported here does not yet rival the performance of existing traditional approaches, but we present evidence that our method will reach a comparable detection power with sufficient training time. Training success of DECIMER depends on the input data representation: DeepSMILES are clearly superior over SMILES and we have preliminary indication that the recently reported SELFIES outperform DeepSMILES. An extrapolation of our results towards larger training data sizes suggest that we might be able to achieve >90% accuracy with about 60 to 100 million training structures, so that training can be completed within several months on a single GPU. This work is completely based on open-source software and open data and is available to the general public for any purpose.


Deep Learning
Chemical Structure
Information Mining


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.