Wal-Mart Patents

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is a global retailer focused on selling merchandise and services at everyday low prices. The company operates stores under the Walmart and Sam's Clubs brands.

Wal-Mart Patents by Type

  • Wal-Mart Patents Granted: Wal-Mart patents that have been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Wal-Mart Patent Applications: Wal-Mart patent applications that are pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Publication number: 20170213233
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to methods and systems for implementing a visit- based loyalty rewards program. Disclosed is a system that includes location detection devices placed throughout a retail store that are used in conjunction with a mobile device carried by a customer to determine the presence, duration, path, and location of the customer device, and hence the customer, in the retail store. A retail store server is used to store customer information, including the customer visits, the length of customer visits, and the path taken by the customer through the retail store. A loyalty reward is calculated based upon at least one customer visit and at least one customer purchase. The loyalty reward is then awarded to the customer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2015
    Publication date: July 27, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald R. High, Michael D. Atchley
  • Publication number: 20170213228
    Abstract: According to one aspect, embodiments of the invention provide a system for identifying elastic products in a retail environment, the system comprising a network interface configured to be coupled to a communication network, a product analysis module coupled to the network interface and configured to communicate with a server of each one of a plurality of retail stores in the retail environment via the network interface and the communication network, and a database coupled to the product analysis module, wherein the product analysis module is further configured to receive signals from each server of the plurality of retail stores including experience based information related to sales of a plurality of products in each one of the plurality of retail stores, and profile a group of the plurality of products as elastic products based on the experience based information related to the sales of the plurality of products.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Publication date: July 27, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Rahul Chowdhury
  • Patent number: 9715682
    Abstract: A system for purchasing fuel is provided. The system includes, but is not limited to, a local device for retrieving identification information which identifies a fuel dispensing station, the identification information containing information identifying the fuel dispensing station from which fuel is desired to be purchased, and a remote server connected with the local device. Upon receiving the identification information at the local device, the local device automatically forwards the identification information along with a unique identifier to the remote server. The remote server generates and transmits an unlock code to the fuel dispensing station. The unlock code signals the fuel dispensing station to dispense fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy W. Webb, Jason R. Todd, Danny K. Olivarez
  • Patent number: 9710365
    Abstract: According to one aspect, it is appreciated that it may be useful and particularly advantageous to provide a data generator that creates more realistic data for testing purposes, especially in data systems where large volumes of data are necessary. In one implementation, a data generator is provided that produces relationally consistent data for testing purposes. For instance, a synthetic data generation process may be performed that produces any number of relationally consistent data table structures. Further, in another implementation, generation of the data can be statistically influenced so that the data generated can take on the “look and feel” of production data. Also, data may be produced as needed, and its generation may be performed in parallel, depending on interdependencies in the data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Harold Correll
  • Patent number: 9710755
    Abstract: A system and method for predicting search term popularity is disclosed herein. A database system may comprise a first database cluster H and a second database cluster L. A machine learning algorithm is trained to create a predictive model. Thereafter, for each record in a database system, the predictive model is used to calculate a probability of the record being accessed. If the calculated probability of the record being accessed is greater than a threshold value, then the record in the first database cluster H; otherwise, the record is placed in the second database cluster L. Training the machine learning algorithm comprises inputting a training feature vector associated with the record into the machine learning algorithm, inputting a cost vector into the machine learning algorithm, and iteratively operating the machine learning algorithm on each record in the set of records to create a predictive model. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Varun Srivastava, Yiye Ruan, Yan Zheng
  • Patent number: 9710839
    Abstract: A system and method includes receiving a search query for a product to be located in a retail store, performing a search on a plurality of products records corresponding to a plurality of products located in the retail store, identifying one or more of the product records relevant to the product in the search query, obtaining a store map, the store map being indicative of a layout of the retail store, transmitting a representation of the store map and the one or more product records identified as one or more search results, and providing the one or more search results as a list to a mobile device, each of the one or more search results being associated with a physical location of the product in the retail store, and present the store map overlaid with an icon on a graphical display of the mobile device, wherein the store map represents the retail store and the icon is positioned overlaid on the map to designate a physical location of a corresponding one or more of the list of search results for the retail sto
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Benjamin Pellow, Emily Poplawski, Stephen Aase
  • Patent number: 9712714
    Abstract: A computer-implemented process can be operated to create a watermarked copy of a unique original copy of an electronic sales receipt in a first computerized device to a second computerized device. The watermarked copy includes an electronic watermark identifying the copy. The process includes creating the watermarked copy of the electronic sales receipt by copying information from the original copy of the electronic sales receipt to the watermarked copy and providing the electronic watermark within the watermarked copy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Argue, Anthony Emile Marcar
  • Publication number: 20170199704
    Abstract: A system and method for providing mutual exclusivity to an operation is presented. A memory location is checked to determine if the memory location is subject to an exclusive lock. If so, the age of the exclusive lock is determined. If the age of the exclusive lock is greater than a certain length of time, the exclusive lock on the memory location is released such that operations can be performed on the memory location. When a memory lock is created, a length of time can be associated with the memory location. The length of time can be a default length of time. The length of time can be a custom length that is stored in a database. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2016
    Publication date: July 13, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Ergin Guney
  • Publication number: 20170200194
    Abstract: A system and method for implementing keyword prediction for search engine marketing is presented. Historical search data is analyzed to find top search patterns in the form of n-grams. Keywords from historical search data are analyzed to generate n-grams for various values of n. The n-grams can represent trending search term patterns, as opposed to merely finding trending keywords. Thereafter, each of the n-grams is associated with one or more categories and/or sub-categories. The categories and sub-categories are thus associated with one or more n-grams. When a new product is introduced, the new product can be associated with n-grams based on the categories and sub-categories associated with the new product. Advertisements can be bid upon based on the associations. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 7, 2016
    Publication date: July 13, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Anand Gupta
  • Publication number: 20170200191
    Abstract: A system and method for providing an eCommerce provider with the ability to efficiently determine, retrieve, and compile rollup information from each vendor using the eCommerce provider is presented. Event are monitored to set a trigger when the event occurs. A rollup can be initiated regarding the item in question. Price and shipping information from each vendor of a particular item is collected and tabulated. Each item from each vendor can be verified to determine if any information is missing or is otherwise incorrect. The offerings from each vendor is ranked by a variety of different criteria. When the item in question is displayed to a user, the vendor being displayed is based on the ranking. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Publication date: July 13, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Bhupesh Tuteja, Shekhar Raj
  • Patent number: 9703448
    Abstract: Provided herein are methodologies, systems, apparatus, and non-transitory computer-readable media for configuring a graphical user interface of an electronic display device for enabling preauthorized payment of products or services using distributed processing. A customer may interact with a kiosk or terminal to identify themselves and initiate the process for dynamically computing an active preauthorization limit. Items may then be added to the customer's balance at various point of sale terminals or scanning locations within the facility. Total cost of the items is compared to the active preauthorization limit. Once the customer is finished shopping, a GUI can present them with an authorization screen showing their shopping balance and requesting authorization. The user can interact with the GUI to approve the total via the GUI without the need to produce their card or payment method at checkout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen Tyler Caution, Douglas Jahe Ryner
  • Publication number: 20170192820
    Abstract: A system and method for adaptive determination of computing resources is presented. Sometimes, computing jobs are to be allocated among a set of computers. Historical information regarding input data size and output data size is retrieved. Capacity information about each machine is retrieved. A weighted function is used to calculate a desired allocation of computing resources based on historical input data size and output data size. Computing resources are allocated based on the calculated allocation. The computing job can be performed on the allocated computing resources. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2016
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Shenghua Wan, Prijith Chandran, Varun Srivastava
  • Publication number: 20170193573
    Abstract: Some embodiments include a system. The system includes one or more processors, and one or more non-transitory memory storage devices storing computer instructions configured to run on the one or more processors. The computer instructions are configured to perform acts of: making available multiple items for purchase by an instant consumer; receiving a query from the instant consumer; determining an estimated price range; identifying one or more in-range items of the multiple items; identifying one or more out-range items of the multiple items; and facilitating displaying to the instant consumer a list of the multiple items such that the one or more in-range items are listed before the one or more out-range items in the list. Other embodiments of related systems and methods are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2016
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Wei Han, Parikshit Sondhi, Anjan Goswami
  • Publication number: 20170193433
    Abstract: A system and method for estimating geographical demand for new items is presented. A system can include one or more processing modules and one more non-transitory storage modules. Information is received about existing SKUs and associated attributes. Demand is determined by geographic zone. When a new SKU is added, geographic demand for the new SKU is estimated using the attributes of the new SKU. The new SKU can be allocated according to the estimation. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 5, 2016
    Publication date: July 6, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Zhiwei Qin, Long He
  • Patent number: 9694840
    Abstract: In some embodiments, systems, apparatuses and methods are provided herein that are useful for holding containers open. For example, in some forms a cart accessory and cart are disclosed herein with an apparatus for holding open a receptacle or container. In one form, the apparatus is an accessory including an elongated body having a cart attachment mechanism for securing the cart accessory to at least a portion of a cart, a receptacle securing mechanism connected to the elongated body via a tether, the receptacle securing mechanism being movable between a retracted position wherein the securing mechanism is positioned proximate the elongated body and an extended position wherein the securing mechanism is spaced apart from the elongated body closer to at least a portion of a receptacle to assist in holding open the receptacle when connected thereto. In another form a cart is disclosed having such a container holding apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher J. Hendrick, Stephen Caution
  • Patent number: 9691075
    Abstract: The present disclosure extends to comparing two or more names in a database of contact records. In embodiments, systems of the present disclosure execute a comparison of submitted names to determine if the records should be linked and/or merged. Embodiments of the present disclosure can compensate for irregularities in the database of contact records, including inconsistent name prefixes and suffixes, misspellings, typographical errors, misordered first/last names, and nicknames.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew Benjamin Ray, Nathaniel Philip Troutman
  • Patent number: 9684491
    Abstract: Example systems and methods that provide annotations of item descriptions are described. In one implementation, a method accesses data associated with an item and identifies multiple attributes associated with the item. The method further generates a Java class associated with the item and annotates the Java class to include the attributes associated with the item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventor: Minseok Park
  • Patent number: 9679065
    Abstract: Queries are analyzed to identify start-side sub-queries that include a starting word of the query and one or more contiguous words and end-side sub-queries that include an ending word of the query and one or more contiguous words. A start-side count is determined for a sub-query indicating a number of times it occurs among the queries as a start-side query. An end-side count is also computed for each sub-query indicating the number of times it occurs as an end-side sub-query. A score is computed for each sub-query that decreases with the start-side count and increases with the end-side count. A search is performed for a received query with some of the phrases (e.g. noun phrases) thereof weighted according to the scores. Noun phrases may be identified as the longest n-gram for which an entry in a reference dictionary exists.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Namrata PramodKumar Tholiya, Abhishek Gattani
  • Patent number: 9679074
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for processing a data stream in real time to identify connections between one or more social elements social elements and aggregating and storing the identified connections over a rolling time window. Social elements may be stored as nodes and connection between social elements may be stored as labeled connections between nodes. Other embodiments are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Anand Rajaraman, Madhusudan Mathihalli, Arvind Batra, Digvijay Singh Lamba, Taraka Subrahmanya Prasad Siripurapu, Nikesh Garera
  • Patent number: 9672214
    Abstract: The present disclosure extends to incrementally updating a database in a production environment in a way that maintains data freshness and allows for high priority updates for critical changed values and regular updates for noncritical changed values in the database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Varun Srivastava, Yan Zheng
  • Patent number: 9665896
    Abstract: A system and method for forecasting sales is presented. A transmission by a customer is received indicating an intention for a customer to purchase an item from a retailer via a mobile device. An embodiment determines if the item is subject to an age-restriction. This can be accomplished by using location data of a retailer. Biometric data is received from the customer intending to purchase the item. The biometric data is compared to verified biometric data to confirm the identity of the customer. The age of the customer is determined. Thereafter, the transaction is allowed to proceed if the age of the customer satisfies the age-restriction for the item. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Berk Atikoglu, Eytan Daniyalzade
  • Publication number: 20170147964
    Abstract: A method of reallocating inventory in a fulfillment network is disclosed herein. The fulfillment network can include a plurality of distribution centers. An allocation plan can be created in a one of a variety of different manners, where the allocation plan involves allocating an item to one or more distribution centers in the fulfillment network. Thereafter, the allocation plan can be analyzed for feasibility. If the allocation plan is not feasible, each distribution center in the allocation plan can be analyzed to determine if using the distribution center is feasible. If the distribution center cannot be used, another distribution in the same cluster of distribution centers is examined for feasibility. This process is repeated for each distribution center in the allocation plan. Once an alternative allocation plan has been developed in this maimer, items can be allocated. Existing inventory can be taken into account in the allocation plan.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 23, 2015
    Publication date: May 25, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Rishabh Kothari, Arash Asadi-Shahmirzadi, Vvs Varaprasad Nagalla, Zhiwei Qin
  • Publication number: 20170148085
    Abstract: Providing personalized item recommendations using scalable matrix factorization with randomness. Various embodiments involve ecommerce websites, an item interaction matrix, item interaction weightings, factorizing into a user feature matrix and an item feature matrix, computing a thin matrix, generating a random Gaussian matrix, decomposing a matrix Y by a QR factorization, performing a singular value decomposition, performing alternative least squares, computing item interaction scores, selecting at least one item for recommendation to an Internet user based on the item interaction scores, or a combination thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2017
    Publication date: May 25, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Lei Tang, Patrick Harrington, Tao Zhu
  • Patent number: 9659079
    Abstract: A store computer system is provided. The computer system includes a sharded store transactional database such as an order or inventory database. The database may include a first database shard which stores a first group of order or inventory data and a second database shard which stores a second group of order or inventory data which is different than the first group of data. The computer system may include a store order management computer system that implements a shard determination module which is programmed to receive a query regarding an order or item associated with the store, identify a database shard associated with the order or item from data in the query, and communicate data regarding the order or item to or from the identified database shard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Madhavan Kandhadai Vasantham, Sreekanth Sreedhararaj
  • Patent number: 9659275
    Abstract: In some embodiments, methods and systems of managing products at a retail sales facility include scanning a product in a stocking cart at the retail sales facility using a hand-held electronic device including a processor. At least two of the following three functions may be performed based on the scanning of the product. First, the stocking cart may be audited by comparing scanned data to data contained in an inventory management database. Second, a determination of whether the item is on a pick list may be made, which may include determining a demand for the scanned product to arrive at a decision whether to store the product in the stock room or place it on a shelf on the sales floor. Third, if the item is to be stored in the stock room, a determination of whether identical items are stored in bins in the stock room may be made.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholaus Adam Jones, Marc Ashley Fletter, Matthew Allen Jones, Daniel R. Shields, Robert James Taylor
  • Patent number: 9659109
    Abstract: A method of providing predictive search query recommendations for a search query. The method can be implemented via execution of computer instructions configured to run at one or more processing modules and configured to be stored at one or more non-transitory memory storage modules. The method can include receiving the search query from a user. The method also can include determining the predictive search query recommendations for the search query using a tree data structure. At least one top layer of the tree data structure can include at least one trie query node and bottom layers of the tree data structure can include ternary tree query nodes. The method further can include sending the predictive search query recommendations to the user. Other embodiments of related systems and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Rohit Hiwale, Vishwas Goel
  • Patent number: 9659273
    Abstract: Some embodiments include a method. The method can include: identifying a first consumer location of a consumer; identifying a first limited irregular product group associated with the first consumer location; and receiving a selected limited irregular product type of one or more first limited irregular product types. The first limited irregular product group can have the first limited irregular product type(s). Further, an irregular product group can have multiple irregular product types, the multiple irregular product types can have the one or more first limited irregular product types, a master product group can have multiple product types, and the multiple product types can have multiple regular product types and the multiple irregular product types. The multiple irregular product types can satisfy at least one irregularity parameter distinguishing the multiple irregular product types from the multiple regular product types. Other embodiments of related methods and systems are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Berk Atikoglu, Eytan Daniyalzade
  • Patent number: 9654734
    Abstract: A virtual conferencing system includes a 3D scanner in a local region and a camera. A scan of the local region and images are received and combined to make a model that is transmitted to a remote region. A remote model from the remote region is combined and rendered for a user in the local region. A reference point in the local region is mapped to a reference point in the remote region. The remote model is oriented with respect to the local region according to the reference points. Object in the remote and local regions may be filtered from models that are transmitted. Interactions with virtual objects in the local region may invoke modification virtual objects. Modifications may be transmitted to the remote region and superimposed on real objects corresponding to the virtual objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Donald High, John Paul Thompson, David Winkle, Robert C. Taylor
  • Publication number: 20170132690
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for facilitating a social shopping experience via a group shopping user interface is provided. In one embodiment, a method includes the steps of: receiving a selection of a first item for potential addition to a virtual cart from a first user of a plurality of users forming a social shopping group comprising members who share a purchase cost of items in the virtual cart; providing an indication of the selection of the first item to the plurality of users for their feedback; receiving, in response to the indication, feedback on the first item from one or more of the plurality of users; adding the first item to the virtual cart based on the feedback from the one or more of the plurality of users, and initiating shared payment for the cost of one or more items in the virtual cart among the plurality of users.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2015
    Publication date: May 11, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason R. Todd, Timothy W. Webb, Jared M. Kluver
  • Patent number: 9642466
    Abstract: A universal media pocket is provided. Disclosed is a universal media pocket that includes a durable outer body, a pair of handles pivotably coupled to the durable outer body, and a closing mechanism at a base of the pair of handles and configured to close an inside volume enclosed by the durable outer body. The pair of handles in a first position are configured to attach the universal media pocket to an object and in a second position are configured to remove the universal media pocket from the object. Also disclosed is a chair with a universal media pocket. The chair arm includes a first and a second hook. The universal media pocket hangs from the chair arm, coupled to the chair arm using the first and the second hook.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Wendy Milstead, Jason Ulichnie
  • Patent number: 9640875
    Abstract: One or more frame components that each comprise 1/Xth of a 360 degree RFID tag reader antenna array can be physically coupled to one another to thereby form a multi-frame component. One or more RFID tag reader antenna mounts can comprise a part of such frame components and can be configured to aim a corresponding RFID tag reader antenna outwardly of the frame component. These teachings also accommodate disposing a plurality of RFID tag reader antenna units within a facility such that these antenna units are disposed higher than an expected location of, say, at least 90% of the RFID tags when the latter are in the facility. By one approach these antenna units can all be disposed at a substantially same height within the facility. These antenna units may, or may not, be visually concealed as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce W. Wilkinson, Nicholaus A. Jones
  • Patent number: 9639593
    Abstract: According to one aspect, embodiments of the invention provide a sequence engine comprising a local queue configured to receive captured data in a first sequence, the captured data including a plurality of individual messages, each message including sequence information representative of a chronological order in which the messages was captured, a coupling facility in communication with the local queue, the coupling facility comprising a plurality of data tables wherein a first one of the plurality of data tables is configured to store the captured data in the first sequence, and a dispatcher in communication with the plurality of data tables and configured to resequence, based on the sequence information, the captured data into a second sequence, wherein the second sequence corresponds to the chronological order in which the plurality of individual messages were captured, and to forward the captured data to a destination database in the second sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: John Randy Frerking
  • Patent number: 9633390
    Abstract: Embodiments for determining a completing a purchase transaction at a waypoint where a customer is located within a retail store are disclosed. The embodiments include determining waypoint of the customer, receiving waypoint data including the location of the customer positions within the retail store and a shopping list identifying items that the customer desires to purchase, and completing the purchase transaction for the items at the waypoint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Joel Bennett Acker, Jr., Richard Neil Cancro, Douglas James Pedley
  • Patent number: 9633389
    Abstract: Techniques for allowing customer to order goods on-line or remotely and to pick-up the goods at a desired location or store are disclosed. The techniques include receiving a customer order. The location for delivery of the item with a customer order. The customer order includes at least one good and an associated customer identification number, e.g., a customer motor vehicle license plate number. The techniques further includes capturing images of the license plates of motor vehicles as the motor vehicles enter an order pick-up area located at the store, and if the associated customer motor vehicle license plate number matches one of the received motor vehicle license plate numbers from the optical character recognition unit, delivering the customer order to the motor vehicle associated with the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: David Jon Carr, Richard Mark Ramsden
  • Patent number: 9633103
    Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed herein for supplementing product records with product groups that are relevant to the product records. Queries form users may be analyzed to extract keywords. Search results for keywords are evaluated to determine category consistency among product records, including such values as entropy and taxonomy depth. Those keywords with search results having adequate category consistency are selected as product groups and the search results associated with the product groups. Product groups are associated with product records according to a random walk of a graph having as nodes products and product groups and links representing belonging of a product to a product group. Product groups may be selected based on a transition probability based on a random walk and a quality score based on usage of a product group page for the product group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Shankara B. Subramanya
  • Patent number: 9612889
    Abstract: The present disclosure extends to methods, systems, and computer program products for integrating applications. In general, aspects of the invention can be used to reduce complexities associated with integrating applications and conserve computer system resources. Designed message processing functionality as well as updates and changes can be maintained through a centralized application message processing framework and then used by a plurality of applications. The centralized application message processing framework significantly reduces, and potentially eliminates, the need to incorporate message processing functionality individually into each of the plurality of applications. This in turn reduces the burden and complexity of maintaining message processing functionality for the plurality of applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Gary Dwayne Jenkins, Randy Dean Sams, Timothy Lars Brush
  • Patent number: 9613371
    Abstract: A method of extending an existing product taxonomy for an inventory of products. The existing product taxonomy can include pages having a hierarchical tree structure. The method can include determining a first set of keywords. The first set of keywords can be a prediction of keywords searched above a predetermined threshold during a predetermined time period of one or more external search engines. The method also can include generating dynamic product groups based on the first set of keywords. The method further can include generating a relation graph of the dynamic product groups. The relation graph can include relation links between the dynamic product groups. The method also can include linking the dynamic product groups to pages in the existing product taxonomy to generate an extended product taxonomy. The extended product taxonomy can include the existing product taxonomy, the dynamic product groups, and the relation links of the relation graph between the dynamic product groups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Shankara B. Subramanya, Guoxun Yuan, Madhusudan Mathihalli, Ron Tal
  • Patent number: 9613372
    Abstract: A system for displaying product information to a customer is described herein. The system includes a processor that is programmed to receive search data in response to a product search request received from the customer and retrieve product records associated with the search data from a database. Each product record is associated with a corresponding product and includes a product description and a plurality of item attributes having corresponding attribute values. The processor selects a set of the item attributes and generates a product summary for each of the products as a function of the selected set of item attributes. Each product summary includes corresponding attribute values associated with the selected set of item attributes. The processor generates and displays product information associated with each of the products being included in the search data. The associated product information includes a corresponding product summary and a corresponding product description.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventor: Manas A. Pathak
  • Publication number: 20170091790
    Abstract: A system and method for optimizing inventory purchasing is presented. A system can include one or more processing modules and one more non-transitory storage modules. The storage modules can contain instructions that perform acts corresponding to optimizing inventory purchasing, particularly for seasonal items. The demand for related items can be rolled-up to create a more complete base from which to make calculations. Price can be used to create a more accurate measure of demand. One can also forecast the effect of a future price reduction on demand. This more accurate measure of demand can then be used to order goods. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 29, 2015
    Publication date: March 30, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Shubhankar Ray, Brian Seaman, Ashin Mukherjee
  • Publication number: 20170091683
    Abstract: A system and method for distribution center fulfillment capacity availability tracking is presented herein. A method can include determining an initial value for a fulfillment capacity of each location of one or more locations. The initial value for the fulfillment capacity is an estimation of how many units can be shipped from the location in a particular time period. Thereafter, the fulfillment capacity is adjusted for each order received. The fulfillment capacity is published as an availability to promise. Orders are prioritized using the availability to promise. Orders are then processed for shipment shipped based on the prioritization. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2015
    Publication date: March 30, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Vikrant Tare, Yuvaraj MukariKrishnamoorthy, Shiv Prakash, Devadas Pattathil, Guruprasad Pundoor, Mathew George, Hem Singh, Sebastien Mancel, Vadim Zilberleyb
  • Patent number: 9607486
    Abstract: A computer-implemented process aiding a customer scan and rapid checkout process can include monitoring a shopping cart basket weight. The process includes monitoring, in a computerized processor installed to a shopping cart of a customer, a signal from a weight device configured to monitor the shopping cart basket weight. The process further includes automatically generating a basket weight output value based upon the shopping cart basket weight. The basket weight output value includes one of a check against an expected weight of an item from a database, a billing statement total for a bulk good, a check against an expected total order weight to confirm presence of an un-scanned item in the shopping cart basket, and a check against unsafe use of the shopping cart. The process further includes providing a message based upon the basket weight output value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Joel Bennett Acker, Jr., Douglas James Pedley, Richard Neil Cancro
  • Patent number: 9607098
    Abstract: A method of determining structured product information for a product from a product description using a product entity graph. The product graph can include a plurality of nodes. Each of the plurality of nodes can include an entity value key, one or more entity names, and an entity name count for each of the one or more entity names. The method can include determining k-grams of the product description. The method also can include, for each k-gram of the product description, determining a matching node of the plurality of nodes of the product entity graph that corresponds to the k-gram and determining a derived entity name for the product from the one or more entity names of the matching node based at least in part on the entity name counts corresponding to the one or more entity names. Other embodiments of related systems and methods are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Fan Yang, Narasimhan Rampalli, Digvijay Lamba
  • Publication number: 20170083525
    Abstract: A system and method for implementing a database system is presented. A database system comprises a load balancer and a database partitioned into a first and second shard. Coupled to the load balancer are a first plurality of database servers and a second plurality of database servers. Each of the first plurality of database servers contains a copy of the first shard of the database. Each of the second plurality of database servers contains a copy of the second shard of the database. Queries are sent to a database server in the first plurality of database servers based on a suitability score of the database server determined by characteristics of each server and a current status of each server, where the query is sent to the server in the first plurality with the highest suitability score. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ergin Guney, Yan Zheng
  • Publication number: 20170083940
    Abstract: A system and method for providing a customized user experience is presented. A system can include one or more processing modules and one more non-transitory storage modules. The usage history of a user can be tracked at an eCommerce retailer. Static information about the user can also be tracked. Thereafter, using the usage history, the static information, and the available promotions of the retailer, a probability of conversion can be calculated for each promotion. Thereafter, the promotion being displayed to the user can be based on the probability of conversion. Other embodiments are also disclosed herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Kannan Achan, Venkata Syam Prakash Rapaka, Jeremy King
  • Publication number: 20170083850
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments are generally directed to cashier scheduling for a store based on electronic data representative of transactions at a point-of-sale terminal in the store. Exemplary embodiments can compare the electronic data representative of transactions at the point-of-sale terminal to target point-of-sale terminal data for the point-of-sale terminal in the store to generate delta values. Exemplary embodiments can determine exception data based on the delta values. The exception data can correspond to the delta values that fail to satisfy a specified criteria. Exemplary embodiments can adjust scheduling parameters for a prospective scheduling period based on the exception data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce Crow, Richard Ulrich
  • Publication number: 20170083598
    Abstract: A system and method for maintaining consistency across a decentralized database cluster is presented. When a database server receives an index update message, it adds a message to a queue indicating it has received the message and watches an index update node. Once every server in the cluster has added a message to the queue or a timer has expired, it is known that every active database server has received the message. The update can be performed for each server and the changes committed simultaneously. In such a manner, all database servers in the cluster perform an update at approximately the same time. When a database server is unable to complete an update, it enters a fallen behind mode and performs updates more often, as configured in a configuration database. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ergin Guney, Yan Zheng
  • Publication number: 20170085634
    Abstract: A system for dynamically varying traffic routing modes in a distributed database system is presented. A database system comprises a load balancer and a database partitioned into a first and second shard. Coupled to the load balancer are a first plurality of database servers and a second plurality of database servers. Each of the first plurality of database servers contains a copy of the first shard of the database. Each of the second plurality of database servers contains a copy of the second shard of the database. Each server in the first plurality of database servers sends queries to a server in the second plurality of database servers using a round-robin system in which servers in the second plurality of database servers take turns processing incoming queries, as a method of distributing load among the multiple servers. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ergin Guney, Yan Zheng
  • Publication number: 20170083578
    Abstract: A system and method for implementing a database system is presented. A database system comprises a load balancer and a database partitioned into a first and second shard. Coupled to the load balancer are a first plurality of database servers and a second plurality of database servers. Each of the first plurality of database servers contains a copy of the first shard of the database. Each of the second plurality of database servers contains a copy of the second shard of the database. Each server in the first plurality of database servers arranged in a server set with a server in the second plurality of database servers. Queries sent to a database server in the first plurality of database servers are forwarded to the corresponding server in the server set of the second plurality. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ergin Guney, Yan Zheng
  • Publication number: 20170083562
    Abstract: A system and method for maintaining consistency across a decentralized database cluster is presented. A database cluster can contain a plurality of database servers, each hosting a copy of the same database. In a system without a centralized coordinating server, a message queue can be used to simultaneously provide updates to each database server in the database cluster. A When a database server receives an index update message, it adds message to a queue indicating it has received the message and watches an index update node. Once every server in the cluster has added a message to the queue, it is known that every database server has received the message. The update can be performed for each server and the changes committed simultaneously. In such a manner, all database servers in the cluster perform an update at approximately the same time. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ergin Guney, Yan Zheng
  • Publication number: 20170083397
    Abstract: A system and method for implementing a database system is presented. A database cluster can comprise multiple database servers. Each database server is configured to regularly compile various statistics upon the occurrence of a triggering event. These statistics can be stored along with the statistics of each database server in the cluster of database servers. Upon the occurrence of various conditions, corrective actions can be implemented. The conditions can include the inability to achieve performance thresholds. The conditions also can include not meeting the performance of other database servers in the cluster. The corrective action can include removing a server temporarily from the cluster or rebooting the server. In addition, a database server can cause the corrective action on other database servers in the cluster. Other embodiments also are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: WAL-MART STORES, INC.
    Inventors: Ergin Guney, Yan Zheng