American Chemical Society
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Clustering of Synthetic Routes Using Tree Edit Distance

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posted on 2021-08-03, 13:40 authored by Samuel Genheden, Ola Engkvist, Esben Bjerrum
We present a novel algorithm to compute the distance between synthetic routes based on tree edit distances. Such distances can be used to cluster synthesis routes generated using a retrosynthesis prediction tool. We show that the clustering of selected routes from a retrosynthesis analysis is performed in less than 10 s on average and only constitutes seven percent of the total time (prediction + clustering). Furthermore, we are able to show that representative routes from each cluster can be used to reduce the set of predicted routes. Finally, we show with a number of examples that the algorithm gives intuitive clusters that can be easily rationalized and that the routes in a cluster tend to use similar chemistry. The algorithm is included in the latest version of open-source AiZynthFinder software ( and as a separate package (