Simplified molecular input line entry specification

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The simplified molecular input line entry specification or SMILES is a specification for unambiguously describing the structure of chemical molecules using short ASCII strings. SMILES strings can be imported by most molecule editors for conversion back into two-dimensional drawings or three-dimensional models of the molecules.

The original SMILES specification was developed by Arthur Weininger and David Weininger in the late 1980s. It has since been modified and extended by others, most notably by Daylight Chemical Information Systems Inc. In 2007, an open standard called "OpenSMILES" was developed by the Blue Obelisk open-source chemistry community. Other 'linear' notations include the Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN), ROSDAL and SLN (Tripos Inc).

In July 2006, the IUPAC introduced the InChI as a standard for formula representation. SMILES is generally considered to have the advantage of being slightly more human-readable than InChI; it also has a wide base of software support with extensive theoretical (e.g., graph theory) backing.

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