Bloom Filter With A False Positive Free Zone

Authors:
Sandor Kiss Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
Eva Hosszu Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
Janos Tapolcai Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
Lajos Ronyai Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), Hungary
Ori Rottenstreich Princeton University, USA

Abstract:

Bloom filters and their variants are widely used as space efficient probabilistic data structures for representing set systems and are very popular in networking applications. They support fast element insertion and deletion, along with membership queries with the drawback of false positives. Bloom filters can be designed to match the false positive rates that are acceptable for the application domain. However, in many applications a common engineering solution is to set the false positive rate very small, and ignore the existence of the very unlikely false positive answers. This paper is devoted to close the gap between the two design concepts of unlikely and not having false positives. We propose a data structure, called EGH filter, that supports the Bloom filter operations and besides it can guarantee false positive free operations for a finite universe and a restricted number of elements stored in the filter. We refer to the limited universe and filter size as the false positive free zone of the filter. We describe necessary conditions for the false positive free zone of a filter and generalize the filter to support listing of the elements. We evaluate the performance of the filter in comparison with the traditional Bloom filters. Our data structure is based on recently developed combinatorial group testing techniques.

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