A pure PHP implementation of a Bloom Filter

1.0.3 2022-05-02 23:00 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-01-31 00:34:37 UTC


This is a well tested implementation of a Bloom Filter for PHP. It has the following features:

  1. Efficient memory use for bit array (as efficient as PHP can be anyway).
  2. A way to get a raw version of the filter for transport to other systems.
  3. Ability to restore said raw filter back into a usable one.
  4. Auto-calculates optimal hashing and bit array size based on desired set size and false-positive probability.
  5. Auto-generates hashing functions as needed.


Install via Composer (make sure you have composer in your path or in your project).

Put the following in your package.json:

    "require": {
        "pleonasm/bloom-filter": "*"

Run composer install.


use Pleo\BloomFilter\BloomFilter;

$approximateItemCount = 100000;
$falsePositiveProbability = 0.001;

$before = memory_get_usage();
$bf = BloomFilter::init($approximateItemCount, $falsePositiveProbability);
$after = memory_get_usage();
// if this were a 100,000 item array, we would be looking at about 4MB of
// space used instead of the 200k or so this uses.
echo ($after - $before) . "\n";


$bf->exists('item1'); // true
$bf->exists('item2'); // true
$bf->exists('item3'); // true

// The following call will return false with a 0.1% probability of
// being true as long as the amount of items in the filter are < 100000
$bf->exists('non-existing-item'); // false

$serialized = json_encode($bf); // you can store/transfer this places!

// Re-hydrate the object this way.
$bf = BloomFilter::initFromJson(json_decode($serialized, true));

$bf->exists('item1'); // still true
$bf->exists('item2'); // still true
$bf->exists('item3'); // still true
$bf->exists('non-existing-item'); // still false

Warnings On Serialization

As a note: using json_encode() on a bloom filter object should work across most systems. You can run in to trouble if are moving the filter between 64 and 32 bit systems (that will outright not work) or moving between little-endian and big-endian systems (that should work, but I haven't tested it).

Also note that json_encode() will take the binary bit array and base64 encode it. So if you have a large array, it will get about 33% bigger on serialization.

Other Notes

Under the hood, the hashing mechanism used is actually an HMAC of whatever algorithm you pick. In general, PHP's hash extension is not happy if you pick a non-cryptographically secure algo to calculate an HMAC so just don't do it with this library and everything will work just fine.

This may not come up if you're using PHP 7.1 specifically, but generally the hash you use must output at least 64 bits. Things like adler32 or crc32 not okay to use even if they don't throw an error in PHP 7.1.


This project requires PHP 7.1 or newer. That said, version 1.0.2 of bloom-filter is available for PHP 5.4 to 7.0 and will work just fine.


You can find the license for this code in the LICENSE file.