Bloom Filters by Example

“A Bloom filter is a data structure designed to tell you, rapidly and memory-efficiently, whether an element is present in a set. The price paid for this efficiency is that a Bloom filter is a probabilistic data structure: it tells us that the element either definitely is not in the set or may be in the set. The base data structure of a Bloom filter is a Bit Vector…”

http://billmill.org/bloomfilter-tutorial/