Vespa Product Updates, December 2018: ONNX Import and Map Attribute Grouping

Hi Vespa Community!

Today we’re kicking off a blog post series of need-to-know updates on Vespa, summarizing the features and fixes detailed in Github issues.

We welcome your contributions and feedback about any new features or improvements you’d like to see.

For December, we’re excited to share the following product news:

Streaming Search Performance Improvement
Streaming Search is a solution for applications where each query only searches a small, statically determined subset of the corpus. In this case, Vespa searches without building reverse indexes, reducing storage cost and making writes more efficient. With the latest changes, the document type is used to further limit data scanning, resulting in lower latencies and higher throughput. Read more here.

ONNX Integration
ONNX is an open ecosystem for interchangeable AI models. Vespa now supports importing models in the ONNX format and transforming the models into Tensors for use in ranking. This adds to the TensorFlow import included earlier this year and allows Vespa to support many training tools. While Vespa’s strength is real-time model evaluation over large datasets, to get started using single data points, try the stateless model evaluation API. Explore this integration more in Ranking with ONNX models.

Precise Transaction Log Pruning
Vespa is built for large applications running continuous integration and deployment. This means nodes restart often for software upgrades, and node restart time matters. A common pattern is serving while restarting hosts one by one. Vespa has optimized transaction log pruning with prepareRestart, due to flushing as much as possible before stopping, which is quicker than replaying the same data after restarting. This feature is on by default. Learn more in live upgrade and prepareRestart.

Grouping on Maps
Grouping is used to implement faceting. Vespa has added support to group using map attribute fields, creating a group for values whose keys match the specified key, or field values referenced by the key. This support is useful to create indirections and relations in data and is great for use cases with structured data like e-commerce. Leverage key values instead of field names to simplify the search definition. Read more in Grouping on Map Attributes.

Questions or suggestions? Send us a tweet or an email.

Vespa Product Updates, December 2019: Improved ONNX support, New rank feature attributeMatch().maxWeight, Free lists for attribute multivalue mapping, faster updates for out-of-sync documents, Zookeeper 3.5.6

Kristian Aune

Kristian Aune

Head of Customer Success, Vespa

In the November Vespa product update, we mentioned Nearest Neighbor and Tensor Ranking, Optimized JSON Tensor Feed Format, Matched Elements in Complex Multi-value Fields, Large Weighted Set Update Performance and Datadog Monitoring Support.

Today, we’re excited to share the following updates:

Improved ONNX Support

Vespa has added more operations to its ONNX model API, such as GEneral Matrix to Matrix Multiplication (GEMM) –
see list of supported opsets.
Vespa has also improved support for PyTorch through ONNX,
see the example.

New Rank Feature attributeMatch().maxWeight

attributeMatch(name).maxWeight was added in Vespa-7.135.5. The value is  the maximum weight of the attribute keys matched in a weighted set attribute.

Free Lists for Attribute Multivalue Mapping

Since Vespa-7.141.8, multivalue attributes uses a free list to improve performance. This reduces CPU (no compaction jobs) and approximately 10% memory. This primarily benefits applications with a high update rate to such attributes.

Faster Updates for Out-of-Sync Documents

Vespa handles replica consistency using bucket checksums. Updating documents can be cheaper than putting a new document, due to less updates to posting lists. For updates to documents in inconsistent buckets, a GET-UPDATE is now used instead of a GET-PUT whenever the document to update is consistent across replicas. This is the common case when only a subset of the documents in the bucket are out of sync. This is useful for applications with high update rates, updating multi-value fields with large sets. Explore details here.

ZooKeeper 3.5.6

Vespa now uses Apache ZooKeeper 3.5.6 and can encrypt communication between ZooKeeper servers.

About Vespa: Largely developed by Yahoo engineers, Vespa is an open source big data processing and serving engine. It’s in use by many products, such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and the Verizon Media Ad Platform. Thanks to feedback and contributions from the community, Vespa continues to grow.

We welcome your contributions and feedback (tweet or email) about any of these new features or future improvements you’d like to request.