Stavros Korokithakis Stavros Korokithakis - 3 months ago 35x
Python Question

Reversible hash function?

I need a reversible hash function (obviously the input will be much smaller in size than the output) that maps the input to the output in a random-looking way. Basically, I want a way to transform a number like "123" to a larger number like "9874362483910978", but not in a way that will preserve comparisons, so it must not be always true that, if x1 > x2, f(x1) > f(x2) (but neither must it be always false).

The use case for this is that I need to find a way to transform small numbers into larger, random-looking ones. They don't actually need to be random (in fact, they need to be deterministic, so the same input always maps to the same output), but they do need to look random (at least when base64encoded into strings, so shifting by Z bits won't work as similar numbers will have similar MSBs).

Also, easy (fast) calculation and reversal is a plus, but not required.

I don't know if I'm being clear, or if such an algorithm exists, but I'd appreciate any and all help!


None of the answers provided seemed particularly useful, given the question. I had the same problem, needing a simple, reversible hash for not-security purposes, and decided to go with bit relocation. The simplest would probably be:

def hash(n):
  return ((0x0000FFFF & n)<<16) + ((0xFFFF0000 & n)>>16)

This is reversible, in that hash(hash(n)) = n, and has non-sequential pairs {n,m}, n < m, where hash(m) < hash(n).

To get a less sequential looking implementation, you might also want to consider and interlace reordering from [msb,z,...,a,lsb] to [msb,lsb,z,a,...] or [lsb,msb,a,z,...] or any other relocation you feel gives an appropriately non-sequential sequence for the numbers you deal with.

(The above function is safe for numbers that fit in 32 bits, larger numbers are guaranteed to cause collisions and would need some more bit mask coverage to prevent problems. That said, 32 bits is usually enough for any uid).