Learning from data has led to paradigm shifts in a multitude of disciplines, including web, text and image search, speech recognition, as well as bioinformatics. Can machine learning enable similar breakthroughs in understanding quantum many-body systems? Here we develop an efficient deep learning approach that enables spatially and chemically resolved insights into quantum-mechanical observables of molecular systems. We unify concepts from many-body Hamiltonians with purpose-designed deep tensor neural networks, which leads to size-extensive and uniformly accurate (1 kcal mol −1) predictions in compositional and configurational chemical space for molecules of intermediate size. As an example of chemical relevance, the model reveals a classification of aromatic rings with respect to their stability. Further applications of our model for predicting atomic energies and local chemical potentials in molecules, reliable isomer energies, and molecules with peculiar electronic structure demonstrate the potential of machine learning for revealing insights into complex quantum-chemical systems.
Machine learning is an increasingly popular approach to analyse data and make predictions. Here the authors develop a ‘deep learning' framework for quantitative predictions and qualitative understanding of quantum-mechanical observables of chemical systems, beyond properties trivially contained in the training data.