Russia’s largest search engine Yandex joins forces with nuclear research lab CERN

CERN server room
CERN server room

Russia’s biggest search engine Yandex has announced a sponsorship agreement with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), most widely known for discovering the obscure Higgs boson. The company will be joining CERN openlab, a public-private partnership between CERN and various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) companies, as an associate member.

CERN server room

Currently, Yandex operates in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Turkey. The search engine, rivalling Google, generated 60.5 per cent of all search traffic in Russia in December 2012, according to the company’s website.

The new collaboration allows CERN researchers to utilise Yandex’s computing resources and proprietary data processing technologies, which includes their MatrixNet search technology. MatrixNet is a machine learning tool that helps Yandex’s search engine consider a large number of factors for relevancy when ranking results for a particular query.

At CERN, the MatrixNet search techniques will be applied to data analysis for complex physical processes and the filtering of huge data sets. It will help physicists to identify extreme outliers with a high level of precision, so that scientists can confirm theories and discoveries with more certainty.

“Today’s physics deals with large datasets that need to be properly processed and interpreted. New discoveries are all but impossible without meticulous data analysis. To this respect we are very interested in using and testing the services and technologies Yandex is developing. CERN collaboration with Yandex started a few years ago and we are now very pleased to strengthen it with Yandex becoming a CERN openlab associate member,” said Bob Jones, head of CERN openlab.

For Yandex, the new sponsorship deal with CERN adds credibility to the internet company and provides them with access to a vast amount of experimental data, which will undoubtedly help to further develop their technologies.

Image credit: flickr user torkildr

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