Projects per year
Protein structure prediction is a grand challenge. Prediction of protein structures via the representations using backbone dihedral angles has recently achieved significant progress along with the on-going surge of deep neural network (DNN) research in general. However, we observe that in the protein backbone angle prediction research, there is an overall trend to employ more and more complex neural networks and then to throw more and more features to the neural networks. While more features might add more predictive power to the neural network, we argue that redundant features could rather clutter the scenario and more complex neural networks then just could counterbalance the noise. From artificial intelligence and machine learning perspectives, problem representations and solution approaches do mutually interact and thus affect performance. We also argue that comparatively simpler predictors can more easily be reconstructed than the more complex ones. With these arguments in mind, we present a deep learning method named Simpler Angle Predictor (SAP) to train simpler DNN models that enhance protein backbone angle prediction. We then empirically show that SAP can significantly outperform existing state-of-the-art methods on well-known benchmark datasets: for some types of angles, the differences are 6–8 in terms of mean absolute error (MAE). The SAP program along with its data is available from the website https://gitlab.com/mahnewton/sap.