package lbvs_consent

  1. Overview
  2. Docs
Chemoinformatics software for consensus fingerprint queries


Dune Dependency






Chemoinformatics software to do similarity searches using consensus fingerprint queries.

For more details, see the README on github:

Please cite the corresponding paper in case you use this software and publish about your results:

@article{Berenger2017, title={Consensus queries in ligand-based virtual screening experiments}, author={Berenger, Francois and Vu, Oanh and Meiler, Jens}, journal={Journal of Cheminformatics}, volume={9}, number={1}, pages={60}, year={2017}, publisher={BioMed Central}, doi={10.1186/s13321-017-0248-5}, }

Published: 09 Jan 2023



Chemoinformatics software for Ligand-Based Virtual Screening (LBVS) using consensus queries.

Cf. the INSTALL file for instructions on how to install consent.

I) Command line help

lbvs_consent -s {sing|oppo|opti|real|know}
             -q queries.{sdf|mol2|csv|ecfp4}
             -db candidates.{sdf|mol2|csv|ecfp4}

  -s <pol> consensus policy {sing|oppo|opti|real|know} (mandatory)
  -q <filename> queries file (known actives; mandatory)
  -db <filename> database to rank order (mandatory)
  -o <filename> where to write scores (can be combined with -top)
  -n <int> consensus size; #known actives used to create query (optional;
           default=all molecules in query file)
  -top <int> how many top scoring molecules to write out (optional;
       default=all; must be combined with -o)

II) Usage recommendation

Please cite the corresponding paper ( in case you use this software and publish about your results (Consensus queries in ligand-based virtual screening experiments. F. Berenger, O. Vu and J., Meiler. Journal of Cheminformatics, November 2017).

The opportunist consensus policy (-s oppo) is recommended. It works well with any fingerprint and is usually the best performing method.

However, if you really need to go faster, here are some recommendations:

  • MACCS fingerprint (166 bits): use the realistic policy (-s real); it will average the MACCS fingerprints of your known actives.

  • ECFP4 fingerprint (2048 bits; folded; uncounted): use the optimist policy (-s opti); it will do a logical union of the fingerprints of your known actives.

  • UMOP2D (unfolded MOLPRINT2D; uncounted): same as for ECFP4, use -s opti.

III) How to encode your molecules

First, we need some SDF and MOL2 files. The obabel command is provided by the Open Babel package (cf.

obabel data/ARm_actives.smi -O data/ARm_actives.sdf
obabel data/ARm_inactives.smi -O data/ARm_inactives.sdf
obabel data/ARm_actives.smi -O data/ARm_actives.mol2
obabel data/ARm_inactives.smi -O data/ARm_inactives.mol2
cat data/ARm_actives.mol2 data/ARm_inactives.mol2 > data/ARm_database.mol2

With the MACCS fingerprint

lbvs_consent_ob_maccs data/ARm_actives.sdf > data/ARm_actives.maccs
lbvs_consent_ob_maccs data/ARm_inactives.sdf > data/ARm_inactives.maccs
cat data/ARm_actives.maccs data/ARm_inactives.maccs > data/ARm_database.maccs

With the ECFP4 fingerprint data/ARm_actives.sdf > data/ARm_actives.ecfp4 data/ARm_inactives.sdf > data/ARm_inactives.ecfp4
cat data/ARm_actives.ecfp4 data/ARm_inactives.ecfp4 > data/ARm_database.ecfp4

With the UMOP2D fingerprint

lbvs_consent_mop2di -i data/ARm_database.mol2 > data/ARm_database.idx
lbvs_consent_mop2de -idx data/ARm_database.idx -i data/ARm_database.mol2 -o data/ARm_database.mop2d

IV) How to query with a consensus query and a consensus policy

# example with ECFP4 fingerprints and 20 actives
head -20 data/ARm_actives.ecfp4 > data/ARm_query_20.ecfp4
# recommended way; AUC ~= 0.60
lbvs_consent -s oppo -q data/ARm_query_20.ecfp4 -db data/ARm_database.ecfp4 -o scores.txt
# faster, but still with good performance in many cases; AUC ~= 0.61
lbvs_consent -s opti -q data/ARm_query_20.ecfp4 -db data/ARm_database.ecfp4 -o scores.txt

Dev Dependencies


Used by