Code examples / Generative Deep Learning / WGAN-GP with R-GCN for the generation of small molecular graphs

WGAN-GP with R-GCN for the generation of small molecular graphs

Author: akensert
Date created: 2021/06/30
Last modified: 2021/06/30
Description: Complete implementation of WGAN-GP with R-GCN to generate novel molecules.

ⓘ This example uses Keras 2

View in Colab GitHub source


In this tutorial, we implement a generative model for graphs and use it to generate novel molecules.

Motivation: The development of new drugs (molecules) can be extremely time-consuming and costly. The use of deep learning models can alleviate the search for good candidate drugs, by predicting properties of known molecules (e.g., solubility, toxicity, affinity to target protein, etc.). As the number of possible molecules is astronomical, the space in which we search for/explore molecules is just a fraction of the entire space. Therefore, it's arguably desirable to implement generative models that can learn to generate novel molecules (which would otherwise have never been explored).

References (implementation)

The implementation in this tutorial is based on/inspired by the MolGAN paper and DeepChem's Basic MolGAN.

Further reading (generative models)

Recent implementations of generative models for molecular graphs also include Mol-CycleGAN, GraphVAE and JT-VAE. For more information on generative adverserial networks, see GAN, WGAN and WGAN-GP.


Install RDKit

RDKit is a collection of cheminformatics and machine-learning software written in C++ and Python. In this tutorial, RDKit is used to conveniently and efficiently transform SMILES to molecule objects, and then from those obtain sets of atoms and bonds.

SMILES expresses the structure of a given molecule in the form of an ASCII string. The SMILES string is a compact encoding which, for smaller molecules, is relatively human-readable. Encoding molecules as a string both alleviates and facilitates database and/or web searching of a given molecule. RDKit uses algorithms to accurately transform a given SMILES to a molecule object, which can then be used to compute a great number of molecular properties/features.

Notice, RDKit is commonly installed via Conda. However, thanks to rdkit_platform_wheels, rdkit can now (for the sake of this tutorial) be installed easily via pip, as follows:

pip -q install rdkit-pypi

And to allow easy visualization of a molecule objects, Pillow needs to be installed:

pip -q install Pillow

Import packages

from rdkit import Chem, RDLogger
from rdkit.Chem.Draw import IPythonConsole, MolsToGridImage
import numpy as np
import tensorflow as tf
from tensorflow import keras



The dataset used in this tutorial is a quantum mechanics dataset (QM9), obtained from MoleculeNet. Although many feature and label columns come with the dataset, we'll only focus on the SMILES column. The QM9 dataset is a good first dataset to work with for generating graphs, as the maximum number of heavy (non-hydrogen) atoms found in a molecule is only nine.

csv_path = tf.keras.utils.get_file(
    "qm9.csv", ""

data = []
with open(csv_path, "r") as f:
    for line in f.readlines()[1:]:

# Let's look at a molecule of the dataset
smiles = data[1000]
print("SMILES:", smiles)
molecule = Chem.MolFromSmiles(smiles)
print("Num heavy atoms:", molecule.GetNumHeavyAtoms())
SMILES: Cn1cncc1O
Num heavy atoms: 7


Define helper functions

These helper functions will help convert SMILES to graphs and graphs to molecule objects.

Representing a molecular graph. Molecules can naturally be expressed as undirected graphs G = (V, E), where V is a set of vertices (atoms), and E a set of edges (bonds). As for this implementation, each graph (molecule) will be represented as an adjacency tensor A, which encodes existence/non-existence of atom-pairs with their one-hot encoded bond types stretching an extra dimension, and a feature tensor H, which for each atom, one-hot encodes its atom type. Notice, as hydrogen atoms can be inferred by RDKit, hydrogen atoms are excluded from A and H for easier modeling.

atom_mapping = {
    "C": 0,
    0: "C",
    "N": 1,
    1: "N",
    "O": 2,
    2: "O",
    "F": 3,
    3: "F",

bond_mapping = {
    "SINGLE": 0,
    0: Chem.BondType.SINGLE,
    "DOUBLE": 1,
    1: Chem.BondType.DOUBLE,
    "TRIPLE": 2,
    2: Chem.BondType.TRIPLE,
    "AROMATIC": 3,
    3: Chem.BondType.AROMATIC,

NUM_ATOMS = 9  # Maximum number of atoms
ATOM_DIM = 4 + 1  # Number of atom types
BOND_DIM = 4 + 1  # Number of bond types
LATENT_DIM = 64  # Size of the latent space

def smiles_to_graph(smiles):
    # Converts SMILES to molecule object
    molecule = Chem.MolFromSmiles(smiles)

    # Initialize adjacency and feature tensor
    adjacency = np.zeros((BOND_DIM, NUM_ATOMS, NUM_ATOMS), "float32")
    features = np.zeros((NUM_ATOMS, ATOM_DIM), "float32")

    # loop over each atom in molecule
    for atom in molecule.GetAtoms():
        i = atom.GetIdx()
        atom_type = atom_mapping[atom.GetSymbol()]
        features[i] = np.eye(ATOM_DIM)[atom_type]
        # loop over one-hop neighbors
        for neighbor in atom.GetNeighbors():
            j = neighbor.GetIdx()
            bond = molecule.GetBondBetweenAtoms(i, j)
            bond_type_idx = bond_mapping[bond.GetBondType().name]
            adjacency[bond_type_idx, [i, j], [j, i]] = 1

    # Where no bond, add 1 to last channel (indicating "non-bond")
    # Notice: channels-first
    adjacency[-1, np.sum(adjacency, axis=0) == 0] = 1

    # Where no atom, add 1 to last column (indicating "non-atom")
    features[np.where(np.sum(features, axis=1) == 0)[0], -1] = 1

    return adjacency, features

def graph_to_molecule(graph):
    # Unpack graph
    adjacency, features = graph

    # RWMol is a molecule object intended to be edited
    molecule = Chem.RWMol()

    # Remove "no atoms" & atoms with no bonds
    keep_idx = np.where(
        (np.argmax(features, axis=1) != ATOM_DIM - 1)
        & (np.sum(adjacency[:-1], axis=(0, 1)) != 0)
    features = features[keep_idx]
    adjacency = adjacency[:, keep_idx, :][:, :, keep_idx]

    # Add atoms to molecule
    for atom_type_idx in np.argmax(features, axis=1):
        atom = Chem.Atom(atom_mapping[atom_type_idx])
        _ = molecule.AddAtom(atom)

    # Add bonds between atoms in molecule; based on the upper triangles
    # of the [symmetric] adjacency tensor
    (bonds_ij, atoms_i, atoms_j) = np.where(np.triu(adjacency) == 1)
    for (bond_ij, atom_i, atom_j) in zip(bonds_ij, atoms_i, atoms_j):
        if atom_i == atom_j or bond_ij == BOND_DIM - 1:
        bond_type = bond_mapping[bond_ij]
        molecule.AddBond(int(atom_i), int(atom_j), bond_type)

    # Sanitize the molecule; for more information on sanitization, see
    flag = Chem.SanitizeMol(molecule, catchErrors=True)
    # Let's be strict. If sanitization fails, return None
    if flag != Chem.SanitizeFlags.SANITIZE_NONE:
        return None

    return molecule

# Test helper functions


Generate training set

To save training time, we'll only use a tenth of the QM9 dataset.

adjacency_tensor, feature_tensor = [], []
for smiles in data[::10]:
    adjacency, features = smiles_to_graph(smiles)

adjacency_tensor = np.array(adjacency_tensor)
feature_tensor = np.array(feature_tensor)

print("adjacency_tensor.shape =", adjacency_tensor.shape)
print("feature_tensor.shape =", feature_tensor.shape)
adjacency_tensor.shape = (13389, 5, 9, 9)
feature_tensor.shape = (13389, 9, 5)


The idea is to implement a generator network and a discriminator network via WGAN-GP, that will result in a generator network that can generate small novel molecules (small graphs).

The generator network needs to be able to map (for each example in the batch) a vector z to a 3-D adjacency tensor (A) and 2-D feature tensor (H). For this, z will first be passed through a fully-connected network, for which the output will be further passed through two separate fully-connected networks. Each of these two fully-connected networks will then output (for each example in the batch) a tanh-activated vector followed by a reshape and softmax to match that of a multi-dimensional adjacency/feature tensor.

As the discriminator network will receives as input a graph (A, H) from either the generator or from the training set, we'll need to implement graph convolutional layers, which allows us to operate on graphs. This means that input to the discriminator network will first pass through graph convolutional layers, then an average-pooling layer, and finally a few fully-connected layers. The final output should be a scalar (for each example in the batch) which indicates the "realness" of the associated input (in this case a "fake" or "real" molecule).

Graph generator

def GraphGenerator(
    dense_units, dropout_rate, latent_dim, adjacency_shape, feature_shape,
    z = keras.layers.Input(shape=(LATENT_DIM,))
    # Propagate through one or more densely connected layers
    x = z
    for units in dense_units:
        x = keras.layers.Dense(units, activation="tanh")(x)
        x = keras.layers.Dropout(dropout_rate)(x)

    # Map outputs of previous layer (x) to [continuous] adjacency tensors (x_adjacency)
    x_adjacency = keras.layers.Dense(tf.math.reduce_prod(adjacency_shape))(x)
    x_adjacency = keras.layers.Reshape(adjacency_shape)(x_adjacency)
    # Symmetrify tensors in the last two dimensions
    x_adjacency = (x_adjacency + tf.transpose(x_adjacency, (0, 1, 3, 2))) / 2
    x_adjacency = keras.layers.Softmax(axis=1)(x_adjacency)

    # Map outputs of previous layer (x) to [continuous] feature tensors (x_features)
    x_features = keras.layers.Dense(tf.math.reduce_prod(feature_shape))(x)
    x_features = keras.layers.Reshape(feature_shape)(x_features)
    x_features = keras.layers.Softmax(axis=2)(x_features)

    return keras.Model(inputs=z, outputs=[x_adjacency, x_features], name="Generator")

generator = GraphGenerator(
    dense_units=[128, 256, 512],
    adjacency_shape=(BOND_DIM, NUM_ATOMS, NUM_ATOMS),
    feature_shape=(NUM_ATOMS, ATOM_DIM),
Model: "Generator"
Layer (type)                    Output Shape         Param #     Connected to                     
input_1 (InputLayer)            [(None, 64)]         0                                            
dense (Dense)                   (None, 128)          8320        input_1[0][0]                    
dropout (Dropout)               (None, 128)          0           dense[0][0]                      
dense_1 (Dense)                 (None, 256)          33024       dropout[0][0]                    
dropout_1 (Dropout)             (None, 256)          0           dense_1[0][0]                    
dense_2 (Dense)                 (None, 512)          131584      dropout_1[0][0]                  
dropout_2 (Dropout)             (None, 512)          0           dense_2[0][0]                    
dense_3 (Dense)                 (None, 405)          207765      dropout_2[0][0]                  
reshape (Reshape)               (None, 5, 9, 9)      0           dense_3[0][0]                    
tf.compat.v1.transpose (TFOpLam (None, 5, 9, 9)      0           reshape[0][0]                    
tf.__operators__.add (TFOpLambd (None, 5, 9, 9)      0           reshape[0][0]                    
dense_4 (Dense)                 (None, 45)           23085       dropout_2[0][0]                  
tf.math.truediv (TFOpLambda)    (None, 5, 9, 9)      0           tf.__operators__.add[0][0]       
reshape_1 (Reshape)             (None, 9, 5)         0           dense_4[0][0]                    
softmax (Softmax)               (None, 5, 9, 9)      0           tf.math.truediv[0][0]            
softmax_1 (Softmax)             (None, 9, 5)         0           reshape_1[0][0]                  
Total params: 403,778
Trainable params: 403,778
Non-trainable params: 0

Graph discriminator

Graph convolutional layer. The relational graph convolutional layers implements non-linearly transformed neighborhood aggregations. We can define these layers as follows:

H^{l+1} = σ(D^{-1} @ A @ H^{l+1} @ W^{l})

Where σ denotes the non-linear transformation (commonly a ReLU activation), A the adjacency tensor, H^{l} the feature tensor at the l:th layer, D^{-1} the inverse diagonal degree tensor of A, and W^{l} the trainable weight tensor at the l:th layer. Specifically, for each bond type (relation), the degree tensor expresses, in the diagonal, the number of bonds attached to each atom. Notice, in this tutorial D^{-1} is omitted, for two reasons: (1) it's not obvious how to apply this normalization on the continuous adjacency tensors (generated by the generator), and (2) the performance of the WGAN without normalization seems to work just fine. Furthermore, in contrast to the original paper, no self-loop is defined, as we don't want to train the generator to predict "self-bonding".

class RelationalGraphConvLayer(keras.layers.Layer):
    def __init__(

        self.units = units
        self.activation = keras.activations.get(activation)
        self.use_bias = use_bias
        self.kernel_initializer = keras.initializers.get(kernel_initializer)
        self.bias_initializer = keras.initializers.get(bias_initializer)
        self.kernel_regularizer = keras.regularizers.get(kernel_regularizer)
        self.bias_regularizer = keras.regularizers.get(bias_regularizer)

    def build(self, input_shape):
        bond_dim = input_shape[0][1]
        atom_dim = input_shape[1][2]

        self.kernel = self.add_weight(
            shape=(bond_dim, atom_dim, self.units),

        if self.use_bias:
            self.bias = self.add_weight(
                shape=(bond_dim, 1, self.units),

        self.built = True

    def call(self, inputs, training=False):
        adjacency, features = inputs
        # Aggregate information from neighbors
        x = tf.matmul(adjacency, features[:, None, :, :])
        # Apply linear transformation
        x = tf.matmul(x, self.kernel)
        if self.use_bias:
            x += self.bias
        # Reduce bond types dim
        x_reduced = tf.reduce_sum(x, axis=1)
        # Apply non-linear transformation
        return self.activation(x_reduced)

def GraphDiscriminator(
    gconv_units, dense_units, dropout_rate, adjacency_shape, feature_shape

    adjacency = keras.layers.Input(shape=adjacency_shape)
    features = keras.layers.Input(shape=feature_shape)

    # Propagate through one or more graph convolutional layers
    features_transformed = features
    for units in gconv_units:
        features_transformed = RelationalGraphConvLayer(units)(
            [adjacency, features_transformed]

    # Reduce 2-D representation of molecule to 1-D
    x = keras.layers.GlobalAveragePooling1D()(features_transformed)

    # Propagate through one or more densely connected layers
    for units in dense_units:
        x = keras.layers.Dense(units, activation="relu")(x)
        x = keras.layers.Dropout(dropout_rate)(x)

    # For each molecule, output a single scalar value expressing the
    # "realness" of the inputted molecule
    x_out = keras.layers.Dense(1, dtype="float32")(x)

    return keras.Model(inputs=[adjacency, features], outputs=x_out)

discriminator = GraphDiscriminator(
    gconv_units=[128, 128, 128, 128],
    dense_units=[512, 512],
    adjacency_shape=(BOND_DIM, NUM_ATOMS, NUM_ATOMS),
    feature_shape=(NUM_ATOMS, ATOM_DIM),
Model: "model"
Layer (type)                    Output Shape         Param #     Connected to                     
input_2 (InputLayer)            [(None, 5, 9, 9)]    0                                            
input_3 (InputLayer)            [(None, 9, 5)]       0                                            
relational_graph_conv_layer (Re (None, 9, 128)       3200        input_2[0][0]                    
relational_graph_conv_layer_1 ( (None, 9, 128)       81920       input_2[0][0]                    
relational_graph_conv_layer_2 ( (None, 9, 128)       81920       input_2[0][0]                    
relational_graph_conv_layer_3 ( (None, 9, 128)       81920       input_2[0][0]                    
global_average_pooling1d (Globa (None, 128)          0           relational_graph_conv_layer_3[0][
dense_5 (Dense)                 (None, 512)          66048       global_average_pooling1d[0][0]   
dropout_3 (Dropout)             (None, 512)          0           dense_5[0][0]                    
dense_6 (Dense)                 (None, 512)          262656      dropout_3[0][0]                  
dropout_4 (Dropout)             (None, 512)          0           dense_6[0][0]                    
dense_7 (Dense)                 (None, 1)            513         dropout_4[0][0]                  
Total params: 578,177
Trainable params: 578,177
Non-trainable params: 0


class GraphWGAN(keras.Model):
    def __init__(
        self.generator = generator
        self.discriminator = discriminator
        self.discriminator_steps = discriminator_steps
        self.generator_steps = generator_steps
        self.gp_weight = gp_weight
        self.latent_dim = self.generator.input_shape[-1]

    def compile(self, optimizer_generator, optimizer_discriminator, **kwargs):
        self.optimizer_generator = optimizer_generator
        self.optimizer_discriminator = optimizer_discriminator
        self.metric_generator = keras.metrics.Mean(name="loss_gen")
        self.metric_discriminator = keras.metrics.Mean(name="loss_dis")

    def train_step(self, inputs):

        if isinstance(inputs[0], tuple):
            inputs = inputs[0]

        graph_real = inputs

        self.batch_size = tf.shape(inputs[0])[0]

        # Train the discriminator for one or more steps
        for _ in range(self.discriminator_steps):
            z = tf.random.normal((self.batch_size, self.latent_dim))

            with tf.GradientTape() as tape:
                graph_generated = self.generator(z, training=True)
                loss = self._loss_discriminator(graph_real, graph_generated)

            grads = tape.gradient(loss, self.discriminator.trainable_weights)
                zip(grads, self.discriminator.trainable_weights)

        # Train the generator for one or more steps
        for _ in range(self.generator_steps):
            z = tf.random.normal((self.batch_size, self.latent_dim))

            with tf.GradientTape() as tape:
                graph_generated = self.generator(z, training=True)
                loss = self._loss_generator(graph_generated)

                grads = tape.gradient(loss, self.generator.trainable_weights)
                    zip(grads, self.generator.trainable_weights)

        return { m.result() for m in self.metrics}

    def _loss_discriminator(self, graph_real, graph_generated):
        logits_real = self.discriminator(graph_real, training=True)
        logits_generated = self.discriminator(graph_generated, training=True)
        loss = tf.reduce_mean(logits_generated) - tf.reduce_mean(logits_real)
        loss_gp = self._gradient_penalty(graph_real, graph_generated)
        return loss + loss_gp * self.gp_weight

    def _loss_generator(self, graph_generated):
        logits_generated = self.discriminator(graph_generated, training=True)
        return -tf.reduce_mean(logits_generated)

    def _gradient_penalty(self, graph_real, graph_generated):
        # Unpack graphs
        adjacency_real, features_real = graph_real
        adjacency_generated, features_generated = graph_generated

        # Generate interpolated graphs (adjacency_interp and features_interp)
        alpha = tf.random.uniform([self.batch_size])
        alpha = tf.reshape(alpha, (self.batch_size, 1, 1, 1))
        adjacency_interp = (adjacency_real * alpha) + (1 - alpha) * adjacency_generated
        alpha = tf.reshape(alpha, (self.batch_size, 1, 1))
        features_interp = (features_real * alpha) + (1 - alpha) * features_generated

        # Compute the logits of interpolated graphs
        with tf.GradientTape() as tape:
            logits = self.discriminator(
                [adjacency_interp, features_interp], training=True

        # Compute the gradients with respect to the interpolated graphs
        grads = tape.gradient(logits, [adjacency_interp, features_interp])
        # Compute the gradient penalty
        grads_adjacency_penalty = (1 - tf.norm(grads[0], axis=1)) ** 2
        grads_features_penalty = (1 - tf.norm(grads[1], axis=2)) ** 2
        return tf.reduce_mean(
            tf.reduce_mean(grads_adjacency_penalty, axis=(-2, -1))
            + tf.reduce_mean(grads_features_penalty, axis=(-1))

Train the model

To save time (if run on a CPU), we'll only train the model for 10 epochs.

wgan = GraphWGAN(generator, discriminator, discriminator_steps=1)

)[adjacency_tensor, feature_tensor], epochs=10, batch_size=16)
Epoch 1/10
837/837 [==============================] - 197s 226ms/step - loss_gen: 2.4626 - loss_dis: -4.3158
Epoch 2/10
837/837 [==============================] - 188s 225ms/step - loss_gen: 1.2832 - loss_dis: -1.3941
Epoch 3/10
837/837 [==============================] - 199s 237ms/step - loss_gen: 0.6742 - loss_dis: -1.2663
Epoch 4/10
837/837 [==============================] - 187s 224ms/step - loss_gen: 0.5090 - loss_dis: -1.6628
Epoch 5/10
837/837 [==============================] - 187s 223ms/step - loss_gen: 0.3686 - loss_dis: -1.4759
Epoch 6/10
837/837 [==============================] - 199s 237ms/step - loss_gen: 0.6925 - loss_dis: -1.5122
Epoch 7/10
837/837 [==============================] - 194s 232ms/step - loss_gen: 0.3966 - loss_dis: -1.5041
Epoch 8/10
837/837 [==============================] - 195s 233ms/step - loss_gen: 0.3595 - loss_dis: -1.6277
Epoch 9/10
837/837 [==============================] - 194s 232ms/step - loss_gen: 0.5862 - loss_dis: -1.7277
Epoch 10/10
837/837 [==============================] - 185s 221ms/step - loss_gen: -0.1642 - loss_dis: -1.5273

<keras.callbacks.History at 0x7ff8daed3a90>

Sample novel molecules with the generator

def sample(generator, batch_size):
    z = tf.random.normal((batch_size, LATENT_DIM))
    graph = generator.predict(z)
    # obtain one-hot encoded adjacency tensor
    adjacency = tf.argmax(graph[0], axis=1)
    adjacency = tf.one_hot(adjacency, depth=BOND_DIM, axis=1)
    # Remove potential self-loops from adjacency
    adjacency = tf.linalg.set_diag(adjacency, tf.zeros(tf.shape(adjacency)[:-1]))
    # obtain one-hot encoded feature tensor
    features = tf.argmax(graph[1], axis=2)
    features = tf.one_hot(features, depth=ATOM_DIM, axis=2)
    return [
        graph_to_molecule([adjacency[i].numpy(), features[i].numpy()])
        for i in range(batch_size)

molecules = sample(wgan.generator, batch_size=48)

    [m for m in molecules if m is not None][:25], molsPerRow=5, subImgSize=(150, 150)


Concluding thoughts

Inspecting the results. Ten epochs of training seemed enough to generate some decent looking molecules! Notice, in contrast to the MolGAN paper, the uniqueness of the generated molecules in this tutorial seems really high, which is great!

What we've learned, and prospects. In this tutorial, a generative model for molecular graphs was successfully implemented, which allowed us to generate novel molecules. In the future, it would be interesting to implement generative models that can modify existing molecules (for instance, to optimize solubility or protein-binding of an existing molecule). For that however, a reconstruction loss would likely be needed, which is tricky to implement as there's no easy and obvious way to compute similarity between two molecular graphs.

Example available on HuggingFace

Trained Model Demo
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