This extended abstract describes and analyses a near-optimal probabilistic algorithm, HYPERLOGLOG, dedicated to estimating the number of distinct elements (the cardinality) of very large data ensembles. Using an auxiliary memory of m units (typically, “short bytes”), HYPERLOGLOG performs a single pass over the data and produces an estimate of the cardinality such that the relative accuracy (the standard error) is typically about 1.04/sqrt(m). This improves on the best previously known cardinality estimator, LOGLOG, whose accuracy can be matched by consuming only 64% of the original memory. For instance, the new algorithm makes it possible to estimate cardinalities well beyond 10^9 with a typical accuracy of 2% while using a memory of only 1.5 kilobytes. The algorithm parallelizes optimally and adapts to the sliding window model. HyperLogLog: the analysis of a near-optimal cardinality estimation algorithm