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Journal Article

Probabilistic Structure Calculation


Habeck,  M
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Nilges, M., Habeck, M., & Rieping, W. (2008). Probabilistic Structure Calculation. Comptes Rendus Chimie, 11(4-5), 356-369. doi:10.1016/j.crci.2007.11.006.

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Molecular structures are usually calculated from experimental data with some method of energy minimisation or non-linear optimisation. Key aims of a structure calculation are to estimate the coordinate uncertainty, and to provide a meaningful measure of the quality of the fit to the data. We discuss approaches to optimally combine prior information and experimental data and the connection to probability theory. We analyse the appropriate statistics for NOEs and NOE-derived distances, and the related question of restraint potentials. Finally, we will discuss approaches to determine the appropriate weight on the experimental evidence and to obtain in this way an estimate of the data quality from the structure calculation. Whereas objective estimates of coordinates and their uncertainties can only be obtained by a full Bayesian treatment of the problem, standard structure calculation methods continue to play an important role. To obtain the full benefit of these methods, they should be founded on a rigorous Baye sian analysis.