Tag Archives: ruby

Importing the Hacker News Interest Graph


Graphs are everywhere. Think about the computer networks that allow you to read this sentence, the road or train networks that get you to work, the social network that surrounds you and the interest graph that holds your attention. Everywhere you look, graphs. If you manage to look somewhere and you don’t see a graph, then you may be looking at an opportunity to build one. Today we are going to do just that. We are going to make use of the new Neo4j Import tool to build a graph of the things that interest Hacker News.
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Tracking User Paths in an IVR with Neo4j

I started my software development career writing applications for a Call Center at a small bank in Florida. I remember the bank had purchased whatever the “Cadillac” of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems was then for some crazy amount of money. Today you can build an IVR overnight using Twilio.


When you sign up with Twilio, you get to choose your phone number (more or less). For example, I picked +1 (636) 451-7411, which spells out +1 (neo) 4j1-7411. If you were to call this number right now (assuming I have not run out of Twilio credits) you’ll connect to my IVR.
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Neo4j Spatial Part 2


In part 1 of this series we looked at how to get started with Neo4j Spatial and we looked at some of the pieces we’ll use today to build a proof of concept application. I’m calling the application “Nom Nom Nom” in reference to its onomatopoeic meme.

So we’ll get data from Factual, get data from OpenTable, combine them and import them into Neo4j:

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Neo4j Spatial Part 1


One of my new year resolutions is to do a project with Neo4j Spatial, so we’ll kick off my first blog post of the year with a gentle introduction to this awesome plugin. I advise you to watch this very short 15 minute video by Neo4j Spatial creator Craig Taverner. The man is a genius level developer, you’ll gain IQ points just listening, I swear.

The plan is to make a Restaurant Recommendation engine based on things you care about and your current location. Yes, this is baby level stuff, but we’ll start with this and see where else Neo4j Spatial can take us later on.
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Knowledge Bases in Neo4j


From the second we are born we are collecting a wealth of knowledge about the world. This knowledge is accumulated and interrelated inside our brains and it represents what we know. If we could export this knowledge and give it to a computer, it would look like ConceptNet. ConceptNet is a semantic network that…

…is built from nodes representing concepts, in the form of words or short phrases of natural language, and labeled relationships between them. These are the kinds of things computers need to know to search for information better, answer questions, and understand people’s goals.

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Permission Resolution with Neo4j – Part 2


Let’s try tackling something a little bigger. In Part 1 we created a small graph to test our permission resolution graph algorithm and it worked like a charm on our dozen or so nodes and edges. I don’t have fast hands, so instead of typing out a million node graph, we’ll build a graph generator and use the batch importer to load it into Neo4j. What I want to create is a set of files to feed to the batch-importer.
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Facebook Graph Search with Cypher and Neo4j

Update: Facebook has disabled this application

Your app is replicating core Facebook functionality.


Facebook Graph Search has given the Graph Database community a simpler way to explain what it is we do and why it matters. I wanted to drive the point home by building a proof of concept of how you could do this with Neo4j. However, I don’t have six months or much experience with NLP (natural language processing). What I do have is Cypher. Cypher is Neo4j’s graph language and it makes it easy to express what we are looking for in the graph. I needed a way to take “natural language” and create Cypher from it. This was going to be a problem.
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CrunchBase on Neo4j

NeoTechnology was featured on TechCrunch after raising a Series B round, and it has an entry on CrunchBase. If you look at CrunchBase closely you’ll notice it’s a graph. Who invested in what, who co-invested, what are the common investment themes between investors, how are companies connected by board members, etc. These are questions we can ask of the graph and are well suited for graph databases.
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NeoSocial: Connecting to Facebook with Neo4j

Social applications and Graph Databases go together like peanut butter and jelly. I’m going to walk you through the steps of building an application that connects to Facebook, pulls your friends and likes data and visualizes it. I plan on making a video of me coding it one line at a time, but for now let’s just focus on the main elements.
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Graph Generator

Update: Code to this project is available on Github.

In the US Air Guitar Championships, competitors use their talents to fret on an “invisible” guitar to rock a live crowd and deliver a performance that transcends the imitation of a real guitar and becomes an art form in and of itself. The key factor that determines the winner is having the elusive quality of “Airness“. When considering using Neo4j in a project, one of the key considerations is having a domain model that yields itself to a graph representation. In other words, does your data have “Graphiness“. However, it didn’t dawn on me until recently that when starting a proof of concept, you probably don’t have that data (or enough of it) or maybe your security guys won’t let you within 100 miles of the company production data with this newfangled nosql thingamajig.
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