Posts by: Ari Gesher

Palantir: search with a twist (part one: memory efficiency)

magnifying glass
A Palantir cluster seamlessly integrates many pieces of proven technology. One of them is our customized version of the venerable Java search engine, Lucene. Search engine technology tends to be optimized for the common use case of indexing web documents (or similar information architectures) where you have a few search terms in each query and many, many documents as results. We want to leverage the inverted index capabilities of Lucene, but our data access patterns are a bit different than the typical use case: we need things like pervasive range-querying, different types of relevance, and dynamic views of the data based on security constraints. So in building our data platform, we’ve run into some interesting challenges that are pretty unique in the information retrieval realm, specifically:

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JavaInvoke allows you to spawn additional Java VMs during testing

junit success
Here at Palantir we use test-driven development (or TDD for short). Integrated tools like Eclipse and JUnit simplify writing and running unit tests. However, once you need to test a broader swath of functionality, it’s time to write functional, integration, and system tests. While technically not ‘unit testing’, the testing framework that JUnit provides is basically the same infrastructure that you want to leverage for writing these more involved types of testing.

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