idalab seminar #7: Next generation product search at Zalando using deep learning

On January 26th 2018, idalab will host a talk by Duncan Blythe, who is a Research Scientist at Zalando SE. He will give a talk on: Next generation product search in e-commerce using deep learning.

In the context of e-commerce, a product search system matches a query with relevant products. In general, a query can have multiple forms, e.g. a keyword, a short text, an image, or even an audio. On the other hand, a product is usually represented as a data object consisting of attribute-value pairs and array data types. These data objects are indexed to a file system in advance. During the query time, the product search system receives a query from a user. The system first employs some algorithm to measure the similarity of the query and all indexed products, then sorts the product by relevance, and finally retrieves the top-K products and displays to the user.

At Zalando, our in house search engine currently matches full text queries with products through a cascaded architecture. Each step in the cascade processes the input in a specific way, for example, locating mentions of brands, spell checking, and disambiguation. Finally the preprocessed input is used to filter the product attributes (such as color=red, brand=Nike). However, this architecture has multiple drawbacks, such as fragility, limited scalability and extensibility. We are therefore working on replacing this cascade with a single step end-2-end deep learning architecture which involves no textual preprocessing and directly filters image content as well as product meta-data. By eliminating all intermediate components in pipeline, the end-2-end product search system is expected to enjoy simpler architecture, more robustness and greater scalability than its pipeline counterpart. Moreover, maintaining and improving the end-2-end system is considerably easier.

In this talk, I will describe the components involved in such a system, as well as potential advantages and disadvantages.

The talk will start at 5.00 pm and will take place in our office at Potsdamer Straße 68. After the talk, we invite you to stay for drinks.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

View the presentation on SlideShare.

About: idalab seminars are open to all interested parties. Once a month, we invite scholars, data scientists, business experts and big data thought leaders to discuss their work, gain new perspectives and generate fresh insights.