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Handling the Facebook Avalanche

19 Sep
Wednesday, 09/19/2012 8:00am to 9:00am

Arnaud Lucas

Computer Science Building, Room 150

In an expanded partnership between the world's biggest social network and travel sites, TripAdvisor became one out of eight companies to join Facebook's "instant personalization" service - a feature that highlights Facebook friends' interests, as users visit participating sites. Instant personalization is an opt-out instead of an opt-in feature for users, resulting in many users being personalized while visiting TripAdvisor.com, with more than 100M users.

This talk is about how we handle the avalanche of "Instant Personalization" data, specifically how we personalize the user's experience with limited impact on the web site and acceptable latency for the users without adding a single piece of hardware. Moreover, annotating user-contributed content as from "a friend of a friend" offers many more opportunities to de-anonymize content than using only the first-degree friend network.  We'll talk about how we accomplished this using a combination of on-demand friend data and offline processing with Hadoop/Hive.

Bio: Arnaud Lucas
Arnaud has been a software developer for the last 14 years. He started his career in start-ups in Houston, and he is a former president of the Houston Java Users Group.

He is now the technical manager for the social team of TripAdvisor in the Boston area, developing the social features of the TripAdvisor web site. He was the lead in integrating Facebook's Instant Personalization into TripAdvisor.com when TripAdvisor became one of only eight companies to partner with Facebook to enable Instant Personalization, which is now the second biggest Instant Personalization implementation. Before TripAdvisor, he worked at Iron Mountain Digital, focusing on cloud storage and software security. He graduated from the Universite de Technologie de Compiegne in France and has been awarded multiple patents.


TripAdvisor(r) is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 56 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 75 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors.

Lunch from Bueno Y Sano provided by TripAdvisor