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.

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

Sriram R


Suuchi - Toolkit to build distributed systems

Submitted Apr 26, 2017

At Indix, we have a bunch of services that need to operate on top of large volume of product data. We started out with using open source distributed systems (like Hadoop, HBase, Solr, Spark, etc) to build some of our solutions. Along the way, we’ve also had problems where existing solutions wouldn’t really work for our requirements and operational cost associated with them started to shoot up. This pushed us to build a couple of “simple” distributed systems.

As we built them, some common functionality (or abstractions) started to emerge. We put them into the following buckets

  • Communication
  • Membership
  • Data Sharding and Requesting Routing
  • Replication
  • (Optional) Storage Abstraction

In parallel, we started to embrace microservices as a practice for rolling out new systems. This meant that, new systems needed to scale by default. Instead of solving these problems at every system, we wanted to provide these building blocks so that new systems can be built in a distributed fashion with a lot less effort. This also re-emphasized our engineering culture where developers own everything end to end, including scale & distribution.

With this context, we started out building Suuchi⁰, a toolkit for building distributed data systems.

Take Aways

As a Developer, if you are building a new system, you would end up writing a service specification and definition using protobuf & gRPC respectively. Now, this service can be built into a distributed service using the primitives provided by Suuchi. You can setup membership support, plug-in the partitioner / router, decide the replication strategy & bootstrap your distributed service.

As an Ops Person, in the team if most of your systems are built using a common set of primitives it makes your life easier to build elegant & detailed tooling around it - like, metrics, request tracing, monitoring, alerting, etc.

⁰ - Suuchi is an opensource project written in Scala available under Apache v2 License.


  • Context setting for the topic: bring in notion of distributed systems and the need for state
  • Complexities involved & advantages if done right
  • Common problems to be solved when building them
  • What does Suuchi provide
  • Suuchi @ Indix
  • Example code
  • Learning & take aways

Speaker bio

Sriram R is one of the early members of the Engineering team at Indix and has been part of various systems that is ‘live’ in production today. Apart from writing code to foot his bills, he does it to get some adrenaline going, when he is not riding his bike on unchartered terrains. He is co-author of Suuchi project along with his fellow engineer Ashwanth kumar. Currently, he works on problems involving ML at Indix.



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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