The sdfStream function allows to stream through SD Files with millions of molecules without consuming much memory. During this process any set of descriptors, supported by ChemmineR, can be computed (e.g. atom pairs, molecular properties, etc.), as long as they can be returned in tabular format. In addition to descriptor values, the function returns a line index that gives the start and end positions of each molecule in the source SD File. This line index can be used by the downstream read.SDFindex function to retrieve specific molecules of interest from the source SD File without reading the entire file into R. The following outlines the typical workflow of this streaming functionality in ChemmineR.

Create sample SD File with 100 molecules:

 write.SDF(sdfset, "test.sdf") 

Define descriptor set in a simple function:

 desc <- function(sdfset) 
	# datablock2ma(datablocklist=datablock(sdfset)), 
	groups(sdfset), APFP=desc2fp(x=sdf2ap(sdfset), descnames=1024,
	type="character"), AP=sdf2ap(sdfset, type="character"), rings(sdfset,
	type="count", upper=6, arom=TRUE) )  

Run sdfStream with desc function and write results to a file called matrix.xls:

 sdfStream(input="test.sdf", output="matrix.xls", fct=desc, Nlines=1000) # 'Nlines': number of lines to read from input SD File at a time 

One can also start reading from a specific line number in the SD file. The following example starts at line number 950. This is useful for restarting and debugging the process. With append=TRUE the result can be appended to an existing file.

 sdfStream(input="test.sdf", output="matrix2.xls", append=FALSE, fct=desc, Nlines=1000, startline=950) 

Select molecules meeting certain property criteria from SD File using line index generated by previous sdfStream step:

 indexDF <- read.delim("matrix.xls", row.names=1)[,1:4] 
 indexDFsub <- indexDF[indexDF$MW < 400, ] # Selects molecules with MW < 400 
 sdfset <- read.SDFindex(file="test.sdf", index=indexDFsub, type="SDFset") # Collects results in 'SDFset' container 

Write results directly to SD file without storing larger numbers of molecules in memory:

 read.SDFindex(file="test.sdf", index=indexDFsub, type="file",

Read AP/APFP strings from file into APset or FP object:

 apset <- read.AP(x="matrix.xls", type="ap", colid="AP") 
 apfp <- read.AP(x="matrix.xls", type="fp", colid="APFP") 

Alternatively, one can provide the AP/APFP strings in a named character vector:

 apset <- read.AP(x=sdf2ap(sdfset[1:20], type="character"), type="ap") 
 fpchar <- desc2fp(sdf2ap(sdfset[1:20]), descnames=1024, type="character")
 fpset <- as(fpchar, "FPset")