Engineering Blog

Automatically Categorizing Yelp Businesses

At Yelp, we use categories for businesses to help determine search results, improve search relevance, inform our users of what a business does, as well as help our sales team target groups of businesses. For example, Starbucks is categorized as Coffee & Tea, and Walgreens stores are often categorized as both Drugstores and Convenience Stores.   A number of our businesses don’t have categories, but they do hold other clues which can be used to infer categories. They tend to be businesses with relatively few reviews and photos, since more popular businesses would have eventually been assigned a category by...

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Docker in the Real World at Yelp

Thousands of businesses use Yelp SeatMe every day to manage their seating and reservations. Having a stable system is incredibly important to us, given how critical this system is to many businesses. This blog post is going to dive into how we use Docker to reliably develop and deploy Yelp SeatMe. Docker is an incredibly powerful productivity booster and has simplified our deployment pipeline. Hopefully, from this post, you’ll understand how to do it for your team. First, we’ll give a little bit of background on what Yelp SeatMe is, how it’s developed, and deployed. What is Yelp SeatMe? Restaurants...

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Yelp Dataset Challenge Rides Again

6. An impressive number. It’s 1 x 2 x 3 AND 1 + 2 + 3. It’s brilliant AND the number of degrees of freedom a rigid object has to move in three dimensions. It’s where we are in the history of the Yelp Academic Dataset challenge. We’ve had 5 rounds, hundreds of academic papers written, and we are excited to go at it again. Our dataset for this iteration includes information about local businesses in 10 cities across 4 countries. This dataset contains 1.6M reviews and 500K tips by 366K users for 61K businesses. It also comes with rich...

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Roaring into August

Most of July was spent ramping up for our internal hackathon so it was a little slower for us. Last month, we hosted a small PyLadies workshop and celebrated the Designers + Geeks 4 year anniversary (2.5 years of which have been hosted at Yelp!). We also had Tera- Nicholle Nelson, the VP of Marketing for MyFitnessPal and Under Armour, stop by our office to discuss how to “disrupt” yourself. Since hackathon recently wrapped up, we’re slowly recovering from dinosaurs, hacking, and our food comas (look out for our official hackathon post coming out soon!). Coming up this month, we’ve...

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