Current complexity: a tool for assessing the complexity of organic molecules†
Molecular complexity for a synthetic organic chemist is difficult to define, though intuitively known. Despite the importance of this concept, the quantitative assessment of complexity within organic chemistry has remained a challenge. We report here on the development of an approach for generating a unique complexity index, which is reflective of both intrinsic molecular complexity and extrinsic synthetic complexity. This index is based on a community's perception of complexity, within the context of current technology, calculating a molecule's current complexity. Our approach allows for a direct comparison between molecules, the analysis of trends within research programs, it enables an assessment (and comparison) of new synthetic approaches to known molecules and is capable of following a molecule's apparent complexity as it changes over time.