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The Silicon Jungle by Shumeet Baluja

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August 5, 2009.

A graph is a graph—a bunch of dots and a bunch of connections between them. How hard could this be? Stephen was days behind schedule. Creating the graph and finding the data to populate it was easy. Ubatoo had the infrastructure ready and the profiles and the right connections were easily extracted from its databases. But the problem was that Stephen wasn’t versed in the latest algorithms to tackle such massive graphs. There were so many parameters, or virtual “knobs,” to tweak: connectivity constraints, damping factors, evidence cutoff thresholds . . . and the list went on. With graphs of the size he envisioned, the effects of improperly setting any of the knobs would be horribly magnified, making the resulting assessments ...

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