Twitter Improves Search with Real-Time Human Computation

Related: Twitter

Twitter Improves Search with Real-Time Human Computation

Twitter's Engineering blog has just released details on a new human computation engine that's now in play on the popular micro-blogging site.

"So an event happens, people instantly come to Twitter to search for the event, and we need to teach our systems what these queries mean as quickly as we can - because in just a few hours, the search spike will be gone.

How do we do this? We've built a real-time human computation engine to help us identify search queries as soon as they're trending, send these queries to real humans to be judged, and then incorporate the human annotations into our back-end models.

Overview

Before we delve into the details, here's an overview of how the system works.

  1. First, we monitor for which search queries are currently popular.
    Behind the scenes: we run a Storm topology that tracks statistics on search queries.
    For example, the query [Big Bird] may suddenly see a spike in searches from the US.

  2. As soon as we discover a new popular search query, we send it to our human evaluators, who are asked a variety of questions about the query.
    Behind the scenes: when the Storm topology detects that a query has reached sufficient popularity, it connects to a Thrift API that dispatches the query to Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, and then polls Mechanical Turk for a response.
    For example: as soon as we notice "Big Bird" spiking, we may ask judges on Mechanical Turk to categorize the query, or provide other information (e.g., whether there are likely to be interesting pictures of the query, or whether the query is about a person or an event) that helps us serve relevant Tweets and ads.

  3. Finally, after a response from an evaluator is received, we push the information to our backend systems, so that the next time a user searches for a query, our machine learning models will make use of the additional information. For example, suppose our evaluators tell us that [Big Bird] is related to politics; the next time someone performs this search, we know to surface ads by @barackobama or @mittromney, not ads about Dora the Explorer."

Click here for the full details.




More On: Twitter,

Comment & Share

Related Links
PayScale Announces Majority Investment Of Up To $100 Million From Warburg PincusPayScale Announces Majority Investment Of Up To $100 Million From Warburg Pincus
April 24, 2014
TDS and U.S. Cellular to release first quarter operating results and host conference call on May 2, 2014TDS and U.S. Cellular to release first quarter operating results and host conference call on May 2, 2014
April 24, 2014
XChange Events 2014 Midsize Enterprise Summit East Brings Together the Largest Gathering of Midmarket CIOsXChange Events 2014 Midsize Enterprise Summit East Brings Together the Largest Gathering of Midmarket CIOs
April 24, 2014
Bazaarvoice Reaches Settlement With DOJ in Antitrust LitigationBazaarvoice Reaches Settlement With DOJ in Antitrust Litigation
April 24, 2014
Aviat Networks to Present at the Jefferies Global Technology, Media and Telecom ConferenceAviat Networks to Present at the Jefferies Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference
April 24, 2014


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts

Subscribe for News & Specials