Chemotopology: Beyond Neighbourhoods
We have shown in several papers the importance of using topology, particularly set-point topology, to deal with chemical questions related to the concept of similarity. The procedure developed has been called “chemotopology” and it has been applied to different chemical sets e.g. chemical elements, benzimidazoles, sterorids, amino acids and hydrides. The idea behind chemotopology is to run a hierarchical cluster analysis study on a set of objects characterised by different attributes. From this study a dendrogram is obtained, which gathers similarity neighbourhoods for the set of objects. By using a mathematical characterisation of a dendrogram it is possible to select a collection of objects neighbourhoods which in turn become a basis for a topology. With this basis at hand different properties of subsets of objects can be calculated, all of them related to the concept of similarity e.g. closures, derived sets, boundaries, interiors and exteriors. We have also shown the chemical meaning of each one of these properties. In this manuscript, we review the foundations of the chemotopological method as well as its different applications to chemical sets. By means of examples we illustrate how the method can be used as a versatile tool for drug discovery. We also study the relationship between the topologies generated from dendrograms of a given set of objects and the dendrograms that can be obtained for particular topologies on the set of objects.
Keywords: Amino acids, benzimidazoles, chemical elements, chemotopology, hydrides, neighbourhoods, steroids, topology, hierarchical cluster analysis, drug discovery
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