Tag Archives: network

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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Triggers in Neo4j


One of the often overlooked features in Neo4j is the “TransactionEventHandler” capabilities… better known in the database world as “Triggers“. When a transaction occurs, we can analyze that event and decide to take some action. To accomplish this, we’ll write a “Kernel Extension” ( a little different from the Unmanaged Extensions we’ve seen on this blog ) to tie in our trigger.

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Giving Neo4j 2.2 a Workout


Neo4j 2.2 is getting released any day now, so let’s put the Release Candidate through its paces with Gatling. Once we download and start it up, you’ll notice it wants us to authenticate.
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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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Online Payment Risk Management with Neo4j


I really like this saying by Corey Lanum:

Finding the relationships that should not be there is a great use case for Neo4j, and today I want to highlight an example of why. When you purchase something online, the merchant hands off your information to the payment gateway which processes your actual payment. Before they accept the transaction, they run it via series of risk management tests to validate that it is a real transaction and protect themselves from fraud. One of the hardest things for SQL based systems to do is cross check the incoming payment information against existing data looking for relationships that shouldn’t be there.
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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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The Power of Open Source Software


One of the benefits of Open Source Software is that if you want to change how something is done, you can. At Neo Technology, we have a small team of “Field Engineers” who don’t really work ON the product but rather WITH the product. We help our customers with issues of all kinds, answer questions, give suggestions and whatever we need to do to make people’s project successful. A little while back I had a support ticket for a traversal that was taking longer than they hoped it would.

Think about a social network, one of the things you may want to do is tell the user how big their friends network is. But why stop there? How about their friends of friends or even friends of friends of friends network? These are the kind of questions graph databases excel at compared to relational databases. Let’s take a look at what they were doing:
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Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives is a mind bending look at how no matter how individual we think we are, the people around us have a great amount of influence in our lives. One of the authors James Fowler was at GraphConnect 2012 and gave a presentation on this idea:
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The Last Mile


The “last mile” is a term used in the telecommunications industry that refers to delivering connectivity to the customers that will actually be using the system. In the sense of Graph Databases, it refers to how well the end user can extract value and insight from the graph. We’ve already seen an example of this concept with Graph Search, allowing a user to express their requests in natural language. Today we’ll see another example. We’ll be taking advantage of the features of Neo4j 2.0 to make this work, so be sure to have read the previous post on the matter.

We’re going to be using VisualSearch.js made by Samuel Clay of NewsBlur. VisualSearch.js enhances ordinary search boxes with the ability to autocomplete faceted search queries. It is quite easy to customize and there is an annotated walkthrough of the options available. You can see what it does in the image below, or click it to try their demo.

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