Elasticsearch London Meetup – Exploring the Graph API & SearchKit UI components

This month's Elasticsearch Meetup was hosted by Argos at their Victoria Digital Hub with a relatively small crowd this time - I suspect quite a few who registered didn't actually turn up or release their tickets, which is a shame as there was a waiting list. Mark Harwood of Elastic was first with a talk about the new Graph API and visua...Continue reading

Choosing between Elasticsearch and Solr

One of the questions we're asked all the time is which of the two most popular open source search engines is best for a particular use case - and the answer is always 'it depends'. Broadly speaking, Apache Lucene/Solr and Elasticsearch are very similar in terms of features and performance. If you've already chosen one of them, there's very few reasons to incur the inevitable extra work of switching to the other. However if you're still not sure which to choose, read on. Solr,...Continue reading

Working with Hadoop, Kafka, Samza and the wider Big Data ecosystem

We've been working on a number of projects recently involving open source software often quoted as 'Big Data' solutions - here's a quick overview of them. The grandfather of them all of course is Apache Hadoop, now not so much a single project as an ecosystem including storage and processing for potentially huge amounts of data, spread across clusters of machines. Interestingly Hadoop was originally created by D...Continue reading

London Lucene/Solr Meetup – Learning to Rank and Hibernate Search

Back to the very impressive Bloomberg lecture theatre for this month's Lucene/Solr Meetup, with an good turnout (I'm guessing 60-70 people). Our first talk came from Diego Ceccarelli of Bloomberg on how his team have created a Solr implementation of Continue reading

Unified Log Meetup – Scaling up with Skyscanner, Samza and Samsara

Last night I dropped in on the Unified Log Meetup at JustEat's offices (of course, they provided lots of pizza for us all!). I've written about this Meetup before - as a rule the events cover logging and analytics at massive scale, with search being only part of the picture. Joseph Francis from Continue reading

Better search for life sciences at the BioSolr Workshop, day 2 – Elasticsearch & others

Over the last 18 months we've been working closely with the European Bioinformatics Institute on a project to improve their use of open source search engines, funded by the BBSRC. The project was originally named BioSolr but has since grown to encompass Continue reading

Time to replace your Google Search Appliance with open source search

As many others have noted, Google have recently announced their Google Search Appliance (GSA) will not be available for sale from 2017. Search gurus Miles Kehoe and Martin White have written an insightful analysis of the move with some recommendations as to what to do - because your GSA will simply stop working once the 2-year license expires. I don't agree with Lauren...Continue reading

The fun and frustration of writing a plugin for Elasticsearch for ontology indexing

As part of our work on the BioSolr project, I have been continuing to work on the various Elasticsearch ontology annotation plugins (note that even though the project started with a focus on Solr - thus the name - we have also been developing some features for Ela...Continue reading

Elasticsearch vs. Solr: performance improvements

I had been planning not to continue with these posts, but after Matt Weber pointed out the github pull requests (which to my embarrassment I'd not even noticed) he'd made to address some methodological flaws, another attempt was the least I could do. For Solr there was a slight reduction in mean search time, from 39ms (for my original, suboptimal query structure) to 34ms and median search time from 27ms to 25ms - see figure 1. Elasticsearch, on the ...Continue reading

London Text Analytics Meetup – Making sense of text with Lumi, Signal & Bloomberg

This month's London Text Analytics Meetup, hosted by Bloomberg in their spectacular Finsbury Square offices, was only the second such event this year, but crammed in three great talks and attracted a wide range of people from both academia and business. We started with Gabriella Kazai o...Continue reading