The Fifth Elephant 2017

On data engineering and application of ML in diverse domains

##Theme and format
The Fifth Elephant 2017 is a four-track conference on:

  1. Data engineering – building pipelines and platforms; exposure to latest open source tools for data mining and real-time analytics.
  2. Application of Machine Learning (ML) in diverse domains such as IOT, payments, e-commerce, education, ecology, government, agriculture, computational biology, social network analysis and emerging markets.
  3. Hands-on tutorials on data mining tools, and ML platforms and techniques.
  4. Off-the-record (OTR) sessions on privacy issues concerning data; building data pipelines; failure stories in ML; interesting problems to solve with data science; and other relevant topics.

The Fifth Elephant is a conference for practitioners, by practitioners.

Talk submissions are now closed.

You must submit the following details along with your proposal, or within 10 days of submission:

  1. Draft slides, mind map or a textual description detailing the structure and content of your talk.
  2. Link to a self-record, two-minute preview video, where you explain what your talk is about, and the key takeaways for participants. This preview video helps conference editors understand the lucidity of your thoughts and how invested you are in presenting insights beyond your use case. Please note that the preview video should be submitted irrespective of whether you have spoken at past editions of The Fifth Elephant.
  3. If you submit a workshop proposal, you must specify the target audience for your workshop; duration; number of participants you can accommodate; pre-requisites for the workshop; link to GitHub repositories and documents showing the full workshop plan.

##About the conference
This year is the sixth edition of The Fifth Elephant. The conference is a renowned gathering of data scientists, programmers, analysts, researchers, and technologists working in the areas of data mining, analytics, machine learning and deep learning from different domains.

We invite proposals for the following sessions, with a clear focus on the big picture and insights that participants can apply in their work:

  • Full-length, 40-minute talks.
  • Crisp, 15-minute talks.
  • Sponsored sessions, of 15 minutes and 40 minutes duration (limited slots available; subject to editorial scrutiny and approval).
  • Hands-on tutorials and workshop sessions of 3-hour and 6-hour duration where participants follow instructors on their laptops.
  • Off-the-record (OTR) sessions of 60-90 minutes duration.

##Selection Process

  1. Proposals will be filtered and shortlisted by an Editorial Panel.
  2. Proposers, editors and community members must respond to comments as openly as possible so that the selection processs is transparent.
  3. Proposers are also encouraged to vote and comment on other proposals submitted here.

Selection Process Flowchart

We will notify you if we move your proposal to the next round or reject it. A speaker is NOT confirmed for a slot unless we explicitly mention so in an email or over any other medium of communication.

Selected speakers must participate in one or two rounds of rehearsals before the conference. This is mandatory and helps you to prepare well for the conference.

There is only one speaker per session. Entry is free for selected speakers.

##Travel grants
Partial or full grants, covering travel and accomodation are made available to speakers delivering full sessions (40 minutes) and workshops. Grants are limited, and are given in the order of preference to students, women, persons of non-binary genders, and speakers from Asia and Africa.

##Commitment to Open Source
We believe in open source as the binding force of our community. If you are describing a codebase for developers to work with, we’d like for it to be available under a permissive open source licence. If your software is commercially licensed or available under a combination of commercial and restrictive open source licences (such as the various forms of the GPL), you should consider picking up a sponsorship. We recognise that there are valid reasons for commercial licensing, but ask that you support the conference in return for giving you an audience. Your session will be marked on the schedule as a “sponsored session”.

##Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submitting proposals: June 10
  • First draft of the coference schedule: June 20
  • Tutorial and workshop announcements: June 20
  • Final conference schedule: July 5
  • Conference dates: 27-28 July

For more information about speaking proposals, tickets and sponsorships, contact or call +91-7676332020.

Related events

Hosted by

The Fifth Elephant - known as one of the best data science and Machine Learning conference in Asia - has transitioned into a year-round forum for conversations about data and ML engineering; data science in production; data security and privacy practices. more

Umesh Prasad


Near Real time indexing/search in E-commerce marketplace : Approaches and Learnings

Submitted Jun 9, 2017

Key Take aways of the talk
0. Demystifying Lucene & showing inside view of it and how to extend core components of it.

  1. Deployed in Production @ Flipkart.
  2. Served 10K reqs/sec search (no cache) & 50K reqs/sec update request
  3. Term Sharded Search Index
  4. Custom In Memory Forward and Inverted Index + Lucene Based On disk index
  5. Committless and adds true near real time search capabilities to Flipkart search.
  6. Horizontally scalable

E-commerce is different; factors that are critical are responsiveness, real time search capabilities with heavy faceting and sorting needs. Search relevancy is also key driver for ecommerce conversion. It is important to measure the relevancy of the engine offline to tune it for better results. Today existing indexing technologies like Solr/Lucene have trouble dealing with attributes that are in high constant flux. Availability and price are two important attributes in E-commerce that varies across different sellers/listing and change dynamically. In this talk I will share my experience on how in Flipkart we used Solr at scale along with other data stores to index its rapidly changing inventory and other merchant data. II will also share my thoughts on future directions and the focus of open-source indexing technologies.



  1. Introduction to Solr/Lucene ecosystem [ For everyone]
  2. Search & E-commerce search use case [ For Everyone ]
  3. MarketPlace Search
  4. Approaches to Marketplace search
  5. Case for Near Real Time Search : Customer Experience  [ For everyone ]
  6.  Technical Challenges in Near real time search :  [ Intermediate ]
  7.   Solr Cloud for NRT : What works & What doesn't   [ Intermediate ]
  8.    Alternate Approaches to NRT : (DocValues, Parallel Indexes, Lucene Codecs)   [Advanced]
  9.     Building a RealTime search from First Principles  [Intermediate/Advanced]
  10.      Monitoring/Benchmarking [Advanced]
  11.       Other Solutions

Speaker bio

Umesh Prasad is a hands on Solr/Lucene expert and a ML/Bigdata enthusiast. He has a decade of experience building search engine, middleware and learning system for new/different usecases at various scales. He was part of Search & Data platform @ Flipkart for ~5 years, where he came up with this alternative solution for providing consistent customer experience during BBD traffic. He briefly consulted for Lucidworks, which builds a entreprise search product on top of Solr/Lucene. Now he is a full time independent consultant and is currently consulting for Unbxd.
He first fell in love with Lucene and Search in 2007 while building Vertical search engine for Verse Innovation (company behind dailyhunt now) and chose to dig his heels deeper. He also a brief stint with Payments@Amazon. Personally Umesh is customer obsesssed and a customer experience champion. He is passionate about learning/teaching and has been a volunteer @Shiksha Sopan (an IITK NGO), Landmark Worldwide (a Harvard case study) and AlumniConnect. He comes rural Jharkhand, his native is still without electricity and his dream is to leverage technology and tools to transform education and healthcare in rural India. He finished his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur in 2006.



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Hosted by

The Fifth Elephant - known as one of the best data science and Machine Learning conference in Asia - has transitioned into a year-round forum for conversations about data and ML engineering; data science in production; data security and privacy practices. more