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PHP: Utility function for getting random values with weighting.
* getRandomWeightedElement()
* Utility function for getting random values with weighting.
* Pass in an associative array, such as array('A'=>5, 'B'=>45, 'C'=>50)
* An array like this means that "A" has a 5% chance of being selected, "B" 45%, and "C" 50%.
* The return value is the array key, A, B, or C in this case. Note that the values assigned
* do not have to be percentages. The values are simply relative to each other. If one value
* weight was 2, and the other weight of 1, the value with the weight of 2 has about a 66%
* chance of being selected. Also note that weights should be integers.
* @param array $weightedValues
function getRandomWeightedElement(array $weightedValues) {
$rand = mt_rand(1, (int) array_sum($weightedValues));
foreach ($weightedValues as $key => $value) {
$rand -= $value;
if ($rand <= 0) {
return $key;

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@ombou ombou commented Apr 30, 2021

the array values have to be in asc order

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