This research and development team test and prototype new ideas to improve the experience for our users and create new products. This team use skills in machine learning, natural language processing, semantic search, as well as the bleeding edge of new web technologies.
One recent project has been to develop a Natural Language Processing system for converting human text such as “London to Australia for Christmas” into parameters a search API can query. Unlike many solutions, this one needed to be extensible to the 30+ languages that our users speak. It is currently being trialed in six different languages in our Windows 8 application.
Other work includes a project allowing users to make more flexible queries so they can search for exactly what they want. We observe approximately one million flight quotes a minute, and the search system we want to extend has to be able to handle all these writes, our user search volume, and the challenges of finding aggregates in a cache of a billion prices.