To support the world’s largest internet marketplace, eBay tackles technical challenges at a scale that few others have. With this blog, we share our experiences working on those challenges with the technical community.

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SRE Case Study: Triaging a Non-Heap JVM Out of Memory Issue

By: Eric Tian

Most Java virtual machine out of memory issues happen on the heap, but this time proved to be a little different.

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Explainable Reasoning over Knowledge Graphs for Recommendation

By: Canran Xu, Dingxian Wang, Hua Yang and Xiaoyuan Wu

Incorporating knowledge graphs into recommender systems has attracted increasing attention in recent years. By exploring the interlinks within a knowledge graph, the connectivity between users and items can be discovered as paths, which provide rich and complementary information to user-item interactions. Such connectivity not only reveals the semantics of entities and relations, but also helps to comprehend a user’s interest. However, existing efforts have not fully explored this connectivity to infer user preferences, especially in terms of modeling the sequential dependencies within and holistic semantics of a path. We have developed a new model named Knowledge-aware Path Recurrent Network (KPRN) to exploit knowledge graphs for recommendation.

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Interactive Visual Search

By: M. Hadi Kiapour, Robinson Piramuthu and Shuai (Kyle) Zheng

Interactive visual search with user feedback helps buyers find the perfect item and while enjoying the exploratory journey.

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eBay OAuth Client Library

By: Sandeep Dhiman

To make integrations with eBay RESTful APIs easier, eBay provides client libraries in C# and Java to make it simpler to set up authorization and reduce the amount of code application developers have to write to get OAuth Access Tokens.

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Sharing Modules Across Experience Services and Multi-Screen Applications

By: Chuck Zheng

By now most eBay core business flows have gone through the journey of implementing Experience Service-based multi-screen application solutions, where web and mobile native app user interfaces are composed of one or more modules, and Experience Services directly returns these modules to clients with content synthesized from backend data sources, localized and formatted, ready for render and user interaction. This article outlines a plan to move more modules to a shared environment.

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Providing Metadata Discovery on Large-Volume Data Sets

By: Satbeer Lamba and Sudeep Kumar

Many big data systems collect petabytes of data on a daily basis. Such systems are often designed primarily to query raw data records for a given time range with multiple data filters. However, discovering or identifying unique attributes present in such large datasets can be difficult.

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Seven Tips for Visual Search at Scale

By: Fan Yang, M. Hadi Kiapour, Qiaosong Wang and Robinson Piramuthu

We present seven tips for visual search at scale, based on our KDD 2017 paper titled "Visual Search at eBay."

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Troubleshooting a Connection Timeout Issue with tcp_tw_recycle Enabled

By: Edward Lin and Huai Jiang

Availability and stability are very important for eBay's site, especially for those applications that take high traffic and are dependent on many other applications, such as CAL (our Centralized Application Logging framework). This blog shares an issue that happened recently that impacted the availability and stability of CAL, and how we found out the root cause using tcpdump and systemtap.

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Working on the Engines While the Plane is Flying

By: Brian Davies and Thilak Thankappan

Operators of large scale networks will, from time to time, be required to perform major upgrades to the network while keeping the network available with no downtime. This type of work has been compared to working on the engines of an airliner while it is flying. At eBay, our Site Network Engineering team recently completed a migration of our data center aggregation layer from one platform to another under these conditions. By sharing our experience, we hope to help our peers in the industry plan for and successfully execute their own network transformations.

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SRE Case Study: Mysterious Traffic Imbalance

By: Charles Li

As an architect of a large website, I spent over a decade of my life working on all kinds of troubleshooting cases. Many of those cases were quite challenging, similar to finding a suspect in a megacity, yet quite rewarding. I ended up with many Sherlock Holmes stories to tell. What I am sharing today is a troubleshooting case of mysterious traffic imbalance.

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ModaNet: A Large-scale Street Fashion Dataset with Polygon Annotations

By: Fan Yang, M. Hadi Kiapour, Robinson Piramuthu and Shuai (Kyle) Zheng

Searching for an ideal dress or pair of shoes sometimes could be challenging, especially when you do not know the best keywords to describe what you are looking for. Luckily, the emerging smart mobile devices provide an efficient and convenient way to capture those products of interest in your photo album. The next natural thing is letting an ecommerce app like eBay figure it out for you.

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Universal Finder: Moving Toward One Platform for All Finders

By: Kishore Kumar Mohan and Sachin Tilloo

Showing our buyers relevant inventory of what they want to shop for among eBay's vast billion plus inventory is always a priority. One of the avenues we use regularly for filtering is what call "Finders," which are shown in the Search and Browse experiences. This article explains our efforts of unifying our finders and moving them towards a universal finder platform.