Tag Archives: graph

Transmuting Documents into Graphs

Alchemy is a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Its aim is to purify, mature, and perfect certain objects. In popular culture we often see the case of shadowy figures trying to turn lead into gold to make themselves immensely rich or to ruin the world economy. In our case we will not be transmuting lead into gold, but documents into graphs which is just as good. In the past, we had used “Alchemy API” but they were purchased by IBM and retired. You can get similar functionality with IBM Watson, but let’s do something else instead. Let’s add Entity Extraction right into Neo4j.
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Offers with Neo4j

If you have started or are thinking about starting a Graph project, you ought to get in touch with me. I’ve been involved in hundreds of graph database backed projects and chances are I can point you in the right direction. It doesn’t cost anything to get on a goto meeting for an hour and talk about it. Contact me at max@neo4j.com to schedule it. If you are very serious and have a little budget allocated then I recommend you sign up for one of our bootcamps. You’ll be amazed at what we can accomplish together in a very short time. I’ll even make you a deal, if you sign up for a bootcamp and end up buying a commercial license, we’ll give you a week of professional services absolutely free.
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Scheduling Meetings with Neo4j

One of the symptoms of any fast growing company is the lack of available meeting rooms. The average office worker gets immense satisfaction to their otherwise mundane workday when they get to kick someone else out of the meeting room they booked. Of course that joy can be cut short (along with their career) once realizing some unnoticed VIP was unceremoniously kicked out. It’s not a super exciting use case, but today I’m going to show you how to use Neo4j to perform some scheduling gymnastics.
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Replicants

In the movie Blade Runner, “replicants” are engineered biological copies of humans. They are implanted with memories that aren’t real (to them anyway, they are sometimes the recorded memories of other people) in order to provide a sort of replacement to their emotions. The replicants are meant to work in outer space and are illegal on earth. The ones that manage to get to earth are hunted down by Deckard and other blade runners. In order to determine who is a replicant and who is a “real person” blade runners use a “Voight-Kampff” test that measures respiration, heart rate, blushing and eye movement in response to emotionally provocative questions. Today we are going to turn Neo4j into a blade runner and use it to find and retire replicated identities in our data.
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Neptune and Uranus

Last year Microsoft announced “Cosmos DB”, a multi-modal database with graph support. I think multi-modal databases are like swiss army knifes, they can do everything, just not very well. I imagine you would design it to be as good as it can be at its main use case while not losing the ability to do other things. So it’s neither fully optimized for its main thing, nor very good at the other things. Maybe you can do pretty well with two things by making a few compromises, but if you try to do everything…it’s just not going to work out.

Can you imagine John Rambo stalking his enemies with an oversized swiss army knife? Here, let me help with the mental image:
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Dynamic Rule Based Decision Trees in Neo4j

A few posts ago I showed you how to build a Boolean Logic Rules Engine in Neo4j. What I like about it is that we’ve pre-calculated all our potential paths, so it’s just a matter of matching up our facts to the paths to get to the rule and we’re done. But today I am going to show you a different approach where we are going to have to calculate what is true as we go along a decision tree to see which answer we get to.

Yes, it will be a bit slower than the first approach, but we avoid pre-calculation. It also makes things a bit more dynamic, as we can change the decision tree variables on the fly. The idea is to merge code and data into one, to gain the benefit of agility.

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Stored Procedure to Import Data

A while back I showed you how to write an extension to import the MaxMind city data set. Today is just a repeat of that exercise but instead of using an extension, we will use a stored procedure.

The documentation spells out how to write your own procedures in Chapter 6 so I’m not going to go over that again, but I do want to point out a few things.
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Bill of Materials in Neo4j

Where is da BOM? The above question asks, and the obvious answer is right in the middle of your organization. Nestled between Manufacturing, Design, Sales and Supply Chain. But I have a better answer. Your Bill of Materials should be in Neo4j. Today, I’ll show you why.
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Work Order Management with Neo4j

I look terrible in a bikini (take my word for it) but I’d love me a Lamborghini. However, in order to afford nice things, we need to do as the song says and get to work…and we need to manage and prioritize that work somehow. Today, I’m going to show you how to build part of a work order management system with Neo4j.

I’m going to build an evented work order model. So let’s say our Order gets created, then based on what it is, pieces of Work need to happen. This work is performed by some Provider (whether internal or external) and that work can be broken down into Tasks that have dependencies on Events that have occurred. How would this look like in the graph? Glad you asked:
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Building a Boolean Logic Rules Engine in Neo4j

A boolean logic rules engine was the first project I did for Neo4j before I joined the company some 5 years ago. I was working for some start-up at the time but took a week off to play consultant. I had never built a rules engine before, but as far as I know ignorance has never stopped anyone from trying. Neo4j shipped me to the client site, and put me in a room with a projector and a white board where I live coded with an audience of developers staring at me, analyzing every keystroke and cringing at every typo and failed unit test. I forgot what sleep was, but managed to figure it out and I lost all sense of fear after that experience.

The data model chained together fact nodes with criss crossing relationships each chain containing the same path id property we followed until reaching an end node which triggered a rule. There were a few complications along the way and more complexity near the end for ordering and partial matches. The traversal ended up being some 40 lines of the craziest Gremlin code I ever wrote, but it worked. After the proof of concept, the project was rewritten using the Neo4j Java API because at the time only a handful of people could look at a 40 line Gremlin script and not shudder in horror. I think we’re up to two handfuls now.
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