The Ghost in The Search Machine


Apr 28, 2016, 11:30 PM – Apr 29, 2016, 2:00 AM


About this event

Doug Turnbull’s Stupid Search Tricks

Elasticsearch thrives on comparing things--and not just text! Finding similar images, students, users, products, or weather events sound like fancy machine learning problems. In reality we can teach Elasticsearch to detect at risk students, predict the weather, and find similar images very efficiently and at high scale perhaps without the data scientist. In this talk we subvert search by:

• Appreciating Lucene’s core search engine internals

• Learning how we can use this data structure to build relevant search for just about anything!

Poking at some “stupid search tricks”-- image search, student comparison, that demonstrate how to turn search into a smart comparison powerhouse!

About the speaker

Search relevance consultant. Author of Relevant Search. Doug crafts search/recommendation solutions that “get” users. To do this, Doug uses Solr/Elasticsearch, sprinkling a little natural language processing and machine learning on top for good measure.

Doug makes a big difference for companies like O'Reilly Media and Advance Auto Parts. Doug's secret weapon is enabling non-technical product owners, business, and domain experts to take deeper control of their search. Through writing and speaking Doug wants to humanize search and recommendations, making these topic less intimidating for everyone: developers, non-technical folks, and users.

Doug loves building tools to help with search relevancy, including QuepidSplainer and Elyzer.


• 30 Minutes - Social (food and drinks will be provided, see below)

• 1 Hour - Presentation

• 15 Minutes - Q&A relating to the presentation

Food! (very important) -- Please submit by 72 hours prior to the event (20 April) if you have any special considerations of diet such as vegetarian.



April 28 – 29, 2016
11:30 PM – 2:00 AM UTC


  • Andrew McQuerry


  • Pablo Sarabia


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