Multilevel Attention Network with Semi-supervised Domain Adaptation for Drug-Target Prediction


  • Zhousan Xie Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Shikui Tu Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Lei Xu Shanghai Jiao Tong University Guangdong Institute of Intelligence Science and Technology



APP: Natural Sciences


Prediction of drug-target interactions (DTIs) is a crucial step in drug discovery, and deep learning methods have shown great promise on various DTI datasets. However, existing approaches still face several challenges, including limited labeled data, hidden bias issue, and a lack of generalization ability to out-of-domain data. These challenges hinder the model's capacity to learn truly informative interaction features, leading to shortcut learning and inferior predictive performance on novel drug-target pairs. To address these issues, we propose MlanDTI, a semi-supervised domain adaptive multilevel attention network (Mlan) for DTI prediction. We utilize two pre-trained BERT models to acquire bidirectional representations enriched with information from unlabeled data. Then, we introduce a multilevel attention mechanism, enabling the model to learn domain-invariant DTIs at different hierarchical levels. Moreover, we present a simple yet effective semi-supervised pseudo-labeling method to further enhance our model's predictive ability in cross-domain scenarios. Experiments on four datasets show that MlanDTI achieves state-of-the-art performances over other methods under intra-domain settings and outperforms all other approaches under cross-domain settings. The source code is available at



How to Cite

Xie, Z., Tu, S., & Xu, L. (2024). Multilevel Attention Network with Semi-supervised Domain Adaptation for Drug-Target Prediction. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 38(1), 329-337.



AAAI Technical Track on Application Domains