Bloom filters are a probabilistic data structure that allows you to check for set membership. Figuring out if a item is in set is a
0(1) operation. You might be thinking big deal I can do that with a hashtable but with a hash table you're space complexity is
0(n) and will grow quite massive for large lists. In a bloom filter you are storing hashes of your values as bits in a bitarray. You don't actually store the data itself only information that will tell you if the item is in your list. Some use cases are a spell checker or a banned ip list. In fact chrome at one pointed shipped a bloom filter that would check if the website you're trying to visit is a malicious site. A bloom filter storing info on a 100,000 sites with a .001 probability of false positives will only take up 1,437,759 bits (175.51 KB). Such a small footprint means you can ship the entire bitarray to the client to do client side checks and avoid server processing.
Here's my attempt at recreating a bloom filter in python
import math import hashlib import bitarray import mmh3 def calc_optimal_hash_func(lenght_of_entries): m = (-lenght_of_entries * math.log(0.01)) / ((math.log(2)) ** 2) k = (m / lenght_of_entries) * math.log(2) return int(m), int(math.ceil(k)) def lookup(string, bit_array, seeds): for seed in range(seeds): result = mmh3.hash(string, seed) % len(bit_array) # print "seed", seed, "pos", result, "->", bit_array[result] if bit_array[result] == False: return string, "Def not in dictionary" return string, "Probably in here" def load_words(): data =  word_loc = '/usr/share/dict/words' with open(word_loc, 'r') as f: for word in f.readlines(): data.append(word.strip()) return data def get_bit_array(): words = load_words() w_length = len(words) array_length, seeds = calc_optimal_hash_func(w_length) bit_array = array_length * bitarray.bitarray('0') for word in words: try: for seed in range(seeds): # print "word", word, "seed", seed, "pos", result, "->", bit_array[result] pos = mmh3.hash(word, seed) % array_length bit_array[pos] = True except: pass return seeds, bit_array if __name__ == '__main__': seeds, ba = get_bit_array() print(lookup('badwordforsure', ba, seeds)) print(lookup('cat', ba, seeds)) print(lookup('hello', ba, seeds)) print(lookup('jsalj', ba, seeds))