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Category: Civil Engineering

How Uber Engineered a New Feature to Celebrate Drivers

Architecting seamless and enjoyable experiences for our users drives our engineering vision at Uber. As part of this mission, our team constantly develops new ways to better recognize and celebrate drivers. One example is Driver Profiles, a platform designed to enhance the Uber experience by spotlighting driver stories and achievements in the app and creating meaningful connections with riders. From a technical perspective, developing and shipping Driver Profiles seemed straightforward. The data–e.g., name, trip count, and driver-submitted information–that we needed…

Building Migrations for Slack Enterprise Grid

by Eric Vierhaus and Todd Wirth “The Raygun Gothic Rocketship at Pier 14 on the Embarcadero” by Tom Hilton (cc-by) Slack Enterprise Grid lifted off in January 2017, allowing Slack to power the work behind even the largest and most complex companies in the world. To achieve this, our new product allows administrators to link multiple Slack teams together under one organization. When we set out to build the Enterprise product back in 2015, it was clear we’d need an entirely…

Accelerating Services at Airbnb by Building a Blazing Fast Thrift Binding for Ruby

Achieving Bare-Metal Performance in Ruby Writing performant code in Ruby can be difficult due to its dynamic nature: unlike lower-level languages where the idiom is zero-cost-abstractions, pretty much everything in a dynamic language is expensive. As such, it was no surprise that the Ruby Thrift Binding took advantage of an important tool that is often used to improve the performance of libraries in dynamic languages: C extensions. As a kind of abstraction, C extensions hide all the detail of a performant implementation…

Powering Helix’s Auto Rebalancer with Topology-Aware Partition Placement

Partition assignments are critical to a typical distributed data system. A partition’s replicas could be in different states. For example, in the above graph, each partition has three replicas; one of them is the Primary replica, while the other two are Backup replicas.   Apache Helix is a generic cluster management framework used for the automatic management of partitioned and replicated distributed systems hosted on a cluster of nodes. Helix automates the reassignment of partitions in the face of node…

BinaryAlert: Real-time Serverless Malware Detection

Example Use Cases Enterprise alerting: Find malware infections on laptops and servers by analyzing executable binaries. Email attachments: Identify malicious documents sent to your organization. User uploads: Detect when a user uploads a malicious file to your application. Security research: Quickly test new iterations of YARA rules against your own private collections of files using built-in retroactive analysis. Leveraging YARA Rules YARA is a powerful pattern-matching tool for binary analysis. Unlike a simple hash-based signature, YARA rules can classify entire families of…

Building Uber’s Internal Chat Solution

Two years ago, Uber’s previous chat application began showing signs that it would not be able to adapt to our growth. There were app crashes, performance hiccups, and outages that crippled our company’s ability to effectively communicate online. With user satisfaction at an all-time low, we needed a new solution. With operations in over 620 cities, it was paramount for us to identify a chat solution that would enable Uber employees to reliably communicate on desktop and mobile regardless of…

China bets big on subways as cities expand

A worker looks out of a train at the construction site of Line 14 of the Shanghai metro system Deep under Shanghai, workers on a flood-lit construction rig carefully install massive concrete wall sections for a new subway tunnel, adding metre-by-metre to the world’s longest metro system. The Shanghai metro’s future Line 14 is part of plans to extend the already sprawling network another 35 percent by 2020 to 830 kilometres (515 miles)—more than the distance from New York to…

Building the Activity Graph, Part 2

An important feature of EFS is that an EFS instance never starts cold. We keep a copy of the keys stored in the in-memory cache in an instance of RocksDB which we call “CachedKeysStore.” Each time a record is added, deleted, or evicted from the cache, the addition or removal is reflected to the CachedKeysStore. When an instance of EFS is initialized (for example, after the application is restarted), code in EFS automatically warms up the cache. This is done…

Global hotspots for potential water conflict identified — ScienceDaily

More than 1,400 new dams or water diversion projects are planned or already under construction and many of them are on rivers flowing through multiple nations, fueling the potential for increased water conflict between some countries. A new analysis commissioned by the United Nations uses a comprehensive combination of social, economic, political and environmental factors to identify areas around the world most at-risk for “hydro-political” strife. This river basins study was part of the U.N.’s Transboundary Waters Assessment Program. Researchers…

Using Machine Learning to Predict Value of Homes On Airbnb

Introduction Data products have always been an instrumental part of Airbnb’s service. However, we have long recognized that it’s costly to make data products. For example, personalized search ranking enables guests to more easily discover homes, and smart pricing allows hosts to set more competitive prices according to supply and demand. However, these projects each required a lot of dedicated data science and engineering time and effort. Recently, advances in Airbnb’s machine learning infrastructure have lowered the cost significantly to…