University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Computer Science Departmental Series > Unicorn: A System for Searching the Social Graph

Unicorn: A System for Searching the Social Graph

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Host: Paul Levy

Unicorn is an online, in-memory social graph-aware indexing system designed to search trillions of edges between tens of billions of users and entities on thousands of commodity servers. Unicorn is based on standard concepts in information retrieval, but it includes features to promote results with good social proximity. It also supports queries that require multiple round-trips to leaves in order to retrieve objects that are more than one edge away from source nodes. Unicorn is designed to answer billions of queries per day at latencies in the hundreds of milliseconds, and it serves as an infrastructural building block for Facebook’s Graph Search product. In this talk, I will describe the data model and query language supported by Unicorn. I will also describe its evolution as it became the primary backend for Facebook’s search offerings.


Soren Lassen is director of engineering for search infrastructure at Facebook, where he leads the development of the Unicorn graph traversal engine behind Graph Search. Before that he worked on Google Wave backends and protocols, Google web indexing, Riverbed’s Steelhead WAN optimization appliance, Digital Fountain’s Raptor erasure codes, and programming language semantics at the University of Cambridge Computer Lab and Aarhus University.

==== Note: Unusual room ====

==== Tea and cookies at 5pm in the coffee room ====

This talk is part of the Computer Science Departmental Series series.

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