Standard & time series bloom filters, backed by Redis bit vectors.
This implementation is Python-only. If you're looking for (way) more speed, check out a C-based extension that uses hiredis at https://github.com/seomoz/pyreBloom
This is the little bloom filter we're using to filter unique views using redis.
It doesn't do anything special, but I didn't find any small and dependency-free bloom filter written in Python that use Redis as their backend.
If you're tracking users over time, and you want to answer the question "have we seen this guy in the past 2 minutes", this is exactly right for you. For high-throughput applications this is very space-effective. The total memory footprint is known before- hand, and is based on the amount of history you want to save and the resolution.
You might track users in the past 2 minutes with a 10-second resolution using 12 bloom filters. User hits are logged into the most recent bloom filter, and checking if you have seen a user in the past 2 minutes will just go back through those 12 filters.
The finest resolutions possible are around 1ms. If you're pushing it to this limit you'll have to take care of a bunch of things: Storing to and retrieving from Redis takes some time. Timestamps aren't all that exact, especially when running on a virtual machine. If you're using multiple machines, their clocks have to be perfectly in sync.
Quick benchmark for ballpark figures on a MacbookPro (2x 2.66GHz) with Python 2.7, hiredis and Redis 2.9 (unstable). Each benchmark was run with k=4 hashes per key. Keys are random strings of 10 chars length:
Big filter with fewer values: filling bloom filter of 1024.00kB size with 10k values adding 10000 values took 2.09s (4790 values/sec, 208.73 us/value) correct: 100000 / false: 0 -> 0% false positives
Small filter with a lot of values: filling bloom filter of 500.00kB size with 100k values adding 100000 values took 22.30s (4485 values/sec, 222.96 us/value) correct: 100000 / false: 3 -> 0.003% false positives
4 parallel Python processes: filling bloom filter of 1024.00kB size with 2M values adding 2000000 values took 214.69s (9316 values/sec, 429.38 us/value)