Lucene Hackdays in London & Montreal

We ran a couple of Lucene Hackdays over the last couple of weeks: a chance to get together with other people working on open source search, learn from each other and to try and improve both Lucene and associated software. Our first Hackday was in London, hosted by Mimecast at their offices near Moorgate...Continue reading

Haystack Europe 2018, a brief retrospective

It's been a couple of weeks now since the first Haystack search relevance conference in Europe, which we ran with our partners Open Source Connections (OSC). Just under a hundred people came to the Friends' House in Euston for a day of talks covering both the business and technical aspects of relevance engineering. Doug Turnbull of OSC started the day by introducing what would be a major theme of the conference, Learning to Rank, and how Bloomberg had used and benefited from open sourcing their ...Continue reading

Lifting the hood of AI – to find a search engine?

A few years ago much marketing noise was made about Big Data. Every software vendor suddenly had a Big Data suite; you could suddenly buy Big Data capable hardware; consultants and experts would release thought pieces, blogs and books all about Big Data and how it would change the world. The reality of course was slightly different: Big Data meant...well, it meant whatever you wanted it to mean for your commercial purpose. For some people, what didn't fit in an Excel spreadsheet was Big Data, fo...Continue reading

Three weeks of search events this October from Flax

Flax has always been very active at conferences and events - we enjoy meeting people to talk about search! With much of our consultancy work being carried out remotely these days, attending events is a great way to catch up in person with our clients, colleagues and peers and to learn from others about what works (and what doesn't) when building cutting-edge search solutions. I'm thus very glad to announce that we're running three search events this coming October. Earlier in the year I atten...Continue reading

Lucene Solr London: Search Quality Testing and Search Procurement

Mimecast were our kind hosts for the latest London Lucene/Solr Meetup (and even provided goodie bags). It's worth repeating that we couldn't run these events without the help of sponsors and hosts and we're always very grateful (and keep those offers coming!). First up was Andrea Gazzarini presenting a brand new framework for search quality testing. Designed for offline m...Continue reading

Catching MICES – a focus on e-commerce search

The second event I attended in Berlin last week was the Mix Camp on e-commerce search (MICES), a small and focused event now in its second year and kindly hosted by Mytoys at their offices. Slides for the talks are available here and I hope videos will appear soon. The first talk was given ...Continue reading

Highlights of Search, Store, Scale & Stream – Berlin Buzzwords 2018

I spent last week in a sunny Berlin for the Berlin Buzzwords event (and subsequently MICES 2018, of which more later). This was my first visit to Buzzwords which was held in an arts & culture complex in an old brewery north of the city centre. The event was larger than I was expecting at around 550 people with three main tracks of talks. Although due to so...Continue reading

London Lucene/Solr Meetup – Relevance tuning for Elsevier’s Datasearch & harvesting data from PDFs

Elsevier were our kind hosts for the latest London Lucene/Solr Meetup and also provided the first speaker, Peter Cotroneo. Peter spoke about their DataSearch project, a search engine for scientific data. After describing how most other data search engines only index and rank results using metadata,...Continue reading

Haystack, the search relevance conference – day 2

Two weeks ago I attended the Haystack relevance conference – I’ve already written about my overall impressions and on the first day's talks but the following are some more notes on the conference sessions. Note that some of the presentations I attended have already been covered in detail...Continue reading

Haystack, the search relevance conference – day 1

Last week I attended the Haystack relevance conference - I've already written about my overall impressions but the following are some more notes on the conference sessions. Note that some of the presentations I attended have already been covered in detail by Sujit Pal's excellent ...Continue reading