InstaDeep Enzyme Classification Challenge
Job Interview
Can you predict the class of an enzyme using only its amino acid sequence?
346 data scientists enrolled, 70 on the leaderboard
17 November 2020—21 February 2021
97 days
First Place summary
published 22 Feb 2021, 15:51

My model is a fine-tuned pretrained model that was trained on billions of protein sequence data (BFD). It is based on the Transformers architecture - BERT in particular. The pretrained model can be found here. There was no need for me to use the given unlabelled sequences. There is a similar pretrained model trained on lesser data. Both give good results. As it is integrated into the HuggingFace library, one can easily use them in similar fashion as other popular models like BERT.

There was no need for much fine-tuning as one could get good results of about 90%+ accuracy with little to no tuning. The data is also large enough to learn from various patterns.


Due to the number of model parameters (~420M), large data size, and high max sequence length (384), I had to use a TPU (v3-8) for fast model training. 1 epoch runs for ~60 minutes.

Model parameters

  • Max sequence length - I used 384 so as to boost my score. 256 and below also give good results.
  • Epochs - 1 epoch was enough to reach reasonable convergence and generalization. I didn't train for more than that.
  • AdamW optimizer.
  • 5e-5 Learning rate with scheduling.
  • Batch size - 16 * 8 (TPU cores)

I used TensorFlow as it's more TPU friendly.

I would post link to code after review by Zindi.

Great work

Congrats and thanks for sharing

Congratulations and thank you for sharing

Nice work bro. Congratulation

Wow..... nice one @Femi. Great work i must say. Congratulations Femi. Thanks for sharing.

insightful !

Thank you brother! Looking forward to the code as well! Best of luck on the interview! :)

The rules of the competition stated: "Specifically, we should be able to re-create your submission on a single-GPU machine (eg Nvidia P100) with less than 8 hours training and two hours inference." For that same reason, I didn't use transformers.