Acid-base dissociation constant (pKa) is a key physicochemical parameter in chemical science, especially in organic synthesis and drug discovery. Current methodologies for pKa prediction still suffer from limited applicability domain and lack of chemical insight. Here we present MF-SuP-pKa (Multi-Fidelity modeling with Subgraph Pooling for pKa prediction), a novel pKa prediction model that utilizes subgraph pooling, multi-fidelity learning and data augmentation. In our model, a knowledge-aware subgraph pooling strategy was designed to capture the local and global environments around the ionization sites for micro-pKa prediction. To overcome the scarcity of accurate pKa data, low-fidelity data (computational pKa) was used to fit the high-fidelity data (experimental pKa) through transfer learning. Moreover, we implemented knowledge-guided data augmentation on the pre-training data according to the consistency between acidic pKa and basic pKa. The final MF-SuP-pKa model was constructed by pre-training on the augmented ChEMBL data set and fine-tuning on the DataWarrior data set. The ablation results prove that MF-SuP-pKa gains essential benefits from subgraph pooling, multi-fidelity learning, and data augmentation. Extensive evaluation on the DataWarrior data set and three benchmark data sets shows that MF-SuP-pKa achieves superior performances to the state-of-the-art pKa prediction models while requires much less high-fidelity training data. Compared with Attentive FP, MF-SuP-pKa achieves 23.83% and 20.12% improvement in terms of mean absolute error (MAE) on the acidic and basic sets, respectively.
Supplementary materials of MF-SuP-pKa