What happens internally when you engage with friends on Facebook? Meet TAO

shutterstock_107108318

Facebook recently took users behind the curtain for an in-depth look at the engine that powers the social graph: TAO. Whenever you check into a place, comment on a friend’s status, or like a photo, TAO knows.

TAO, which stands for The Associations and Objects is the motor that keeps Facebook’s graph going, learning about relationships between users.

Facebook illustrated what TAO does and thoroughly explained its function:

Facebook puts an extremely demanding workload on its data backend. Every time any one of over a billion active users visits Facebook through a desktop browser or on a mobile device, they are presented with hundreds of pieces of information from the social graph. Users see News Feed stories; comments, likes, and shares for those stories; photos and check-ins from their friends — the list goes on. The high degree of output customization, combined with a high update rate of a typical user’s News Feed, makes it impossible to generate the views presented to users ahead of time. Thus, the data set must be retrieved and rendered on the fly in a few hundred milliseconds.

This challenge is made more difficult because the data set is not easily partitionable, and by the tendency of some items, such as photos of celebrities, to have request rates that can spike significantly. Multiply this by the millions of times per second this kind of highly customized data set must be delivered to users, and you have a constantly changing, read-dominated workload that is incredibly challenging to serve efficiently.

1010757_10151647749182200_192410773_n

 

If you’re interested in learning more about TAO, the team behind it recently published a paper presented at the 2013 USENIX Annual Technical Conference in San Jose.

Teaser image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Social Media 201

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Starting October 13, Social Media 201 will provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining followers and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social/PR Manager

Small, hot SoCal ad agency
CamarilloCamarillo, CA

Content Marketing / Sales

Mediaplanet
New York, NY

Marketing Manager

True North Custom
Chattanooga, TN

Press and Media Relations Manager

Americans for the Arts
Washington, DC

Social Media Manager (Pleasanton)

Avanquest North America
Pleasanton, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us