The Ghost In The Search Machine w/ Doug Turnbull

This is a past event

7 people went

804RVA: Fan Gallery

1657 West Broad Street · Richmond, VA

How to find us

Across the street from Lowe's! Street parking available after 5pm

Location image of event venue


This month fellow Data Hacker Doug Turnbull ( is going to talk about search engines, take us into the guts of Elasticsearch, and show us that there's far more to search engines than text. Doug is an expert in Solr ( and Elasticsearch ( He literally wrote the book ( on search relevancy and will have coupons available to attendees. See you there. --Peter

The Ghost In The Search Machine

What does a search engine like Elasticsearch or Solr add to your infrastructure? How does it differ from existing databases? In this talk we’ll explore search as a unique data structure. Why is it useful? What is an inverted index and how does that make text search blazingly fast? Once you know the guts of the search engine, you’ll see it's far more than just text. It’s a general purpose data system that every data hacker needs in their toolbox! You’ll see at the search engine’s core is a massively scalable similarity system that can solve a broad range of fuzzy ranking problems. You can carefully craft ranking signals and rules to get at all sorts of ad-hoc similarity problems. In short -- it’s the fuzzy similarity system you’ve always wanted to have in your toolbox!

About Doug

Solr and Elasticsearch expert. Author of Relevant Search ( Doug Turnbull lives and breathes smart, relevant search. Doug moves clients away from basic text matching to search with domain and business intelligence built in. Doug leverages search engine features, Lucene internals, and user signals to craft more relevant search results. Doug bridges the gap between content experts, search analytics, and technologists. To help bridge the gap, Doug created Quepid ( a search relevancy collaboration canvas used extensively in OpenSource Connection's search work.

About Data Hackers

RVA Data Hackers meets monthly to hear, present and discuss topics in machine learning & big data. Come on down and help us build Richmond's Data Hacking community.

Our Sponsors:

RVAData Hackers is sponsored in part by Richmond Analytics ( and 804RVA (