Chemical category is a regulatory concept facilitating filling safety data gaps. Practically, all chemical management programs like the OECD HPV Program, EU REACH, or the Canadian DSL Categorization are planning to use or are already using categorization approaches to reduce resources including animal testing. The aim of the study was to discuss the feasibility to apply computational structural similarity methods to augment formation of a category. The article discusses also how this understanding can be translated into computer readable format, an ultimate need for practical, broad scope applications. We conclude that for the skin sensitization endpoint, used as a working example, mechanistic understanding expressed as chemical reactivity can be exploited by computational structural similarity methods to augment category formation process. We propose a novel method, atom environments ranking (AER), to assess similarity to a reference training set representing a common mechanism of action, as a potential method for grouping chemicals into reactivity domains.
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