Lowering the Noise Floor

Thomas Alexander posted July 31, 2015
Automated UI testing is difficult, especially in a company that moves as fast as TripAdvisor. It seems that every week we have new features and UIs rolling out the door. Unfortunately, with all this development, there is bound to be some bugs that escape our tests. TripAdvisor currently serves 37 points of sale, with over 8 million locations, so comprehensive manual testing is frequently not an option. To aid us…
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Yes, I’m Lazy

Chris Colebourn posted July 24, 2015
The faster a web page loads the more likely people will use it. 80% of the time spent by a user waiting for a page to render is outside the server. The time is divided between downloading components, parsing, rendering content and executing scripts. For most pages, downloading is the largest component. Downloading content has two parts. The number of HTTP requests that need to be made and the total…
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Using Apache Spark for Massively Parallel NLP

Jeff Palmucci posted July 17, 2015
Here at TripAdvisor we have a lot of reviews, several hundred million according to the last announcement. I work with machine learning, and one thing we love in machine learning is putting lots of data to use. I've been working on an interesting problem lately and I'd like to tell you about it. In this post, I'll set up the problem and the underlying technology that makes it possible. I'll get…
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Which of TripAdvisor’s reviews are actually helpful?

Gregory Amis posted July 10, 2015
At TripAdvisor, we use machine learning to assess whether a user’s review is substantive and helpful to other users. This article describes our motivations, technology, and results. Problem description TripAdvisor members submit nearly one million reviews every week. We want to publish only the reviews that are helpful to other travelers, but our moderation team can’t possibly read every submitted review. If we can programmatically score a review’s helpfulness, we…
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My Struggles with Map / Reduce

Louis Calisi posted July 3, 2015
I have a confession to make: I’ve been using Map / Reduce for the past 5 years. Up till recently I thought it was the only way to realistically process massive amounts of data in a reasonable amount of time. I’ve assumed streaming technologies were only relevant for simplistic applications where speed is prioritized over accuracy. I’ve been working on an amazing project for TripAdvisor and have come to the…
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