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Thanh Tran - Semantic Search: Relational Keyword Search over Data Graphs

  • Nov 13, 2013 · 6:30 PM

Semantic search technologies use the meaning of entities and relationships explicitly given in structured data to provide relevant and concise answers for complex queries. With the increasing availability of structured data in the past few years, many semantic search applications were introduced to enable users to directly search for entities such as people, places and products. Based on a manually specified grammar that is optimized for Facebook’s data, the newly launched search engine, called Graph Search, not only supports entity search but also more complex relational queries that involve relationships between entities. In this talk, we discuss the research challenges behind building such a relational search engine, called GRAFinder.  It operates in a more generic open-domain setting where information needs greatly vary and customized grammars acting as query templates cannot be assumed.  The two main search concepts it supports are semantic auto-completion and query translation. As user types, it suggests queries that not only are syntactically correct but also meaningful, i.e., can be understood in terms of entities and relationships in the data.  The often highly ambiguous keyword query chosen by the user is then automatically translated to formal relational queries that can be unambiguously processed by the underlying query engine to compute results.  This talk covers the search space GRAFinder derives from the data to capture all possible translations, the ranking scheme it uses to determine relevant candidates and the top-k procedure it employs for computing the few best ones. In greater detail, the probabilistic framework used for semantic auto-completion will be discussed.


Thanh Tran has 10 year experiences working with semantic search technologies as software engineer for IBM and capgemini and assistant professor for Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Stanford University (visiting). He has published seminal work in Semantic Search research and helped to establish an international Semantic Search community through technology benchmarking activities, tutorials and the series of workshops called SemSearch. His work is published in over 40 top-tier journals / conference proceedings, earned prizes and a best paper award and led to successful industry collaboration with companies such as Yahoo! and IBM. Currently, he serves as assistant professor at San Jose State University and director of Graphinder, a semantic search technologies company he co-founded with researchers from the team he previously managed at KIT."


6:30 Eat & Greet

7:00 Talk - Great speakers, good food, free beer.

Event will be held at the eBay campus just off 17/880 @ Hamilton in the main Community building.  Look for lobby/flagpole.

Wifi: eBayGuest/BuyItNow!

I'm always looking for speakers.  Please suggest speakers or topics you would like to hear.


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