The NLP behind Facebook’s graph search

April 29th, 2013

Facebook engineers Xiao Li and Maxime Boucher describe the language processing techniques used to implement Facebook’s graph search in a recent post on the Facebook Engineering page (alternative for non-facebook-users via VentureBeat).

Users can enter a question like Which of my friends who went to school at the University of Illinois live in California? which is translated into a query over Facebook’s Open Graph. That data structure is an RDF like graph of millions of entities and objects of various types that are connected thousands of types of relations. This is a very interesting and application of current human language technology to a highly visible and useful task!