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Search @ Airbnb

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Published on Apr 5, 2016

"Search Ranking: GBM & personalization

Search is a universal problem among almost all internet companies. But Airbnb's search is nevertheless unique with two-sided market, long booking funnel, unique and diversified listings and highly personalized experience. In this talk, we will talk about the unique technical challenges Airbnb's search ranking poses. We will also talk about some initial successes we were able to achieve in the past couple of years with Machine Learning and also share with you the huddles and our vision of the road ahead.

Jiang Chen is a Software Engineer in Search Ranking Team in Airbnb. Jiang had years of experiences in machine learning, search ranking and natural language processing, from designing and implementing Machine Learning ranking algorithms for Yahoo, to leading efforts to build Google's first open domain questioning answering system. His work is prominent when you search queries like [what car did James bond drive in skyfall] in Google.

Narrowing Down

Airbnb's inventory is extremely diverse, and different trip planners come to the platform with different goals in mind. In 2015, the Search team launched several experiments to help trip planners understand our inventory and narrow in on a subset more relevant to them. In this talk, we'll discuss these experiments, what we've learned from them, and some directions for future work.

Brendan Collins is an Engineering Manager on the Search Experience team at Airbnb. Previously, he worked on Search at Google, including work on document analysis, local search ranking, and search features.

Urgency Messages

There are a lot of doubts and concerns that can arise in the minds of guests when searching on Airbnb. Last year, we began to send messaging to build confidence about the platform and listing desirability in order to help guests make confident booking decisions. We'll share the logic and computation behind some of these targeted messages, as well as the effects on user behavior.

Ali Nahm is a Software Engineer on Airbnb's Search Ranking team. Previously, she was finishing a bachelors degree in Computer Science and a masters degree in Applied Math at Harvard. Besides staring at a computer screen, she enjoys running and trying San Francisco restaurants."

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