Tag Archives: java

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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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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Dynamic Rule Based Decision Trees in Neo4j – Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I showed you how to build a dynamic rule based decision tree in Neo4j. It was pretty simple and used an Expression Evaluator to determine if a set of parameters in an expression was true or false. Based on that answer it decided where to go.

But what if we had more than just true or false? What if we wanted to make our Rule nodes have more than 2 options? Today I am going to show you how to do just that… but please make sure you have read part 1 already.

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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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Adding gRPC to Neo4j

You are probably sick of me saying it, but one of the things I love about Neo4j is that you can customize it any way you want. Extensions, stored procedures, plugins, custom indexes, custom apis, etc. If you want to do it, then you can do it with Neo4j.

So the other day I was like what about this gRPC thing? Many companies standardize their backend using RESTful APIs, others are trying out GraphQL, and some are using gRPC. Neo4j doesn’t support gRPC out of the box, partially because we have our own custom binary protocol “Bolt”, but we can add a rudimentary version of gRPC support quite easily.
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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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Flight Search with Neo4j

I think I am going to take the opportunity to explain why I love graphs in this blog post. I’m going to try to explain why looking at problems from the graph point of view opens you up to creative solutions and makes back-end development fun again. The context of our post is flight search, but our true mission is to figure out how to traverse a graph quickly and efficiently so we can apply our knowledge to other problems.

A long while back, I showed you different ways to model airline flight data. When it comes to modeling in graphs, the lesson to take away is that there is no right way. The optimal model is heavily dependent on the queries you want to ask. Just to prove the point, I’m going to show you yet another way to model the airline flight data that is truly optimized for flight search. If you recall, our last model looked like:
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Building a Twitter Clone with Neo4j – Part Eight

In our last post we started the front end of our Twitter Clone application and managed to register and login a user. Now we need to build the actual functionality of our application. We’re going to need a screen to display the timeline of the logged in user. A screen to display a single users posts, and a screen to display the followers of a user and the users being followed. All of these should fit within the same main template, so maybe we can start with that.

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Building a Twitter Clone with Neo4j – Part Six

We are getting close to wrapping up the back-end API for our Twitter clone, so thank you for sticking with this awfully long series since the beginning. One of the big community features of Twitter is the Trending Hashtags. It lets users know what is being talked about even if the people a user follows aren’t talking about it. It’s kind of weird in that way since part of the point of Twitter is following just a few hundred or thousand people to reduce the noise, and here we are bringing noise back in to our feed. Regardless, this is actually pretty easy to implement, so let’s have a crack at it.
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