Searching for Communities: a Facebook Way

ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval


Giving people the power to build community is central to Facebook’s mission. Technically, searching for communities poses very different challenges compared to the standard IR problems. First, there is a vocabulary mismatch problem since most of the content of the communities is private. Second, the common labeling strategies based on human ratings and clicks do not work well due to limited public content available to third-party raters and users at search time. Finally, community search has a dual objective of satisfying searchers and growing the number of active communities. While A/B testing is a well known approach for assessing the former, it is an open question on how to measure progress on the latter. This talk discusses these challenges in depth and describes our solution.

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