How to check if PHP array is associative or sequential?-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

PHP treats all arrays as associative, so there aren’t any built in functions. Can anyone recommend a fairly efficient way to check if an array contains only numeric keys?

Basically, I want to be able to differentiate between this:

$sequentialArray = array('apple', 'orange', 'tomato', 'carrot');

and this:

$assocArray = array('fruit1' => 'apple', 
                    'fruit2' => 'orange', 
                    'veg1' => 'tomato', 
                    'veg2' => 'carrot');
How to solve:

You have asked two questions that are not quite equivalent:

  • Firstly, how to determine whether an array has only numeric keys
  • Secondly, how to determine whether an array has sequential numeric keys, starting from 0

Consider which of these behaviours you actually need. (It may be that either will do for your purposes.)

The first question (simply checking that all keys are numeric) is answered well by Captain kurO.

For the second question (checking whether the array is zero-indexed and sequential), you can use the following function:

function isAssoc(array $arr)
{
    if (array() === $arr) return false;
    return array_keys($arr) !== range(0, count($arr) - 1);
}

var_dump(isAssoc(['a', 'b', 'c'])); // false
var_dump(isAssoc(["0" => 'a', "1" => 'b', "2" => 'c'])); // false
var_dump(isAssoc(["1" => 'a', "0" => 'b', "2" => 'c'])); // true
var_dump(isAssoc(["a" => 'a', "b" => 'b', "c" => 'c'])); // true

Answer:

To merely check whether the array has non-integer keys (not whether the array is sequentially-indexed or zero-indexed):

function has_string_keys(array $array) {
  return count(array_filter(array_keys($array), 'is_string')) > 0;
}

If there is at least one string key, $array will be regarded as an associative array.

Answer:

Surely this is a better alternative.

<?php
$arr = array(1,2,3,4);
$isIndexed = array_values($arr) === $arr;

Answer:

Many commenters in this question don’t understand how arrays work in PHP. From the array documentation:

A key may be either an integer or a string. If a key is the standard representation of an integer, it will be interpreted as such (i.e. “8” will be interpreted as 8, while “08” will be interpreted as “08”). Floats in key are truncated to integer. The indexed and associative array types are the same type in PHP, which can both contain integer and string indices.

In other words, there is no such thing as an array key of “8” because it will always be (silently) converted to the integer 8. So trying to differentiate between integers and numeric strings is unnecessary.

If you want the most efficient way to check an array for non-integer keys without making a copy of part of the array (like array_keys() does) or all of it (like foreach does):

function keyedNext( &$arr, &$k){
    $k = key($arr);
    return next($arr);
}

for ($k = key(reset($my_array)); is_int($k); keyedNext($my_array,$k))
    $onlyIntKeys = is_null($k);

This works because key() returns NULL when the current array position is invalid and NULL can never be a valid key (if you try to use NULL as an array key it gets silently converted to “”).

Answer:

As stated by the OP:

PHP treats all arrays as associative

it is not quite sensible (IMHO) to write a function that checks if an array is associative. So first thing first: what is a key in a PHP array?:

The key can either be an integer or a string.

That means there are 3 possible cases:

  • Case 1. all keys are numeric / integers.
  • Case 2. all keys are strings.
  • Case 3. some keys are strings, some keys are numeric / integers.

We can check each case with the following functions.

Case 1: all keys are numeric / integers.

Note: This function returns true for empty arrays too.

//! Check whether the input is an array whose keys are all integers.
/*!
    \param[in] $InputArray          (array) Input array.
    \return                         (bool) \b true iff the input is an array whose keys are all integers.
*/
function IsArrayAllKeyInt($InputArray)
{
    if(!is_array($InputArray))
    {
        return false;
    }

    if(count($InputArray) <= 0)
    {
        return true;
    }

    return array_unique(array_map("is_int", array_keys($InputArray))) === array(true);
}

Case 2: all keys are strings.

Note: This function returns true for empty arrays too.

//! Check whether the input is an array whose keys are all strings.
/*!
    \param[in] $InputArray          (array) Input array.
    \return                         (bool) \b true iff the input is an array whose keys are all strings.
*/
function IsArrayAllKeyString($InputArray)
{
    if(!is_array($InputArray))
    {
        return false;
    }

    if(count($InputArray) <= 0)
    {
        return true;
    }

    return array_unique(array_map("is_string", array_keys($InputArray))) === array(true);
}

Case 3. some keys are strings, some keys are numeric / integers.

Note: This function returns true for empty arrays too.

//! Check whether the input is an array with at least one key being an integer and at least one key being a string.
/*!
    \param[in] $InputArray          (array) Input array.
    \return                         (bool) \b true iff the input is an array with at least one key being an integer and at least one key being a string.
*/
function IsArraySomeKeyIntAndSomeKeyString($InputArray)
{
    if(!is_array($InputArray))
    {
        return false;
    }

    if(count($InputArray) <= 0)
    {
        return true;
    }

    return count(array_unique(array_map("is_string", array_keys($InputArray)))) >= 2;
}

It follows that:


Now, for an array to be a “genuine” array that we are all accustomed to, meaning:

  • Its keys are all numeric / integers.
  • Its keys are sequential (i.e. increasing by step 1).
  • Its keys start from zero.

We can check with the following function.

Case 3a. keys are numeric / integers, sequential, and zero-based.

Note: This function returns true for empty arrays too.

//! Check whether the input is an array whose keys are numeric, sequential, and zero-based.
/*!
    \param[in] $InputArray          (array) Input array.
    \return                         (bool) \b true iff the input is an array whose keys are numeric, sequential, and zero-based.
*/
function IsArrayKeyNumericSequentialZeroBased($InputArray)
{
    if(!is_array($InputArray))
    {
        return false;
    }

    if(count($InputArray) <= 0)
    {
        return true;
    }

    return array_keys($InputArray) === range(0, count($InputArray) - 1);
}

Caveats / Pitfalls (or, even more peculiar facts about array keys in PHP)

Integer keys

The keys for these arrays are integers:

array(0 => "b");
array(13 => "b");
array(-13 => "b");          // Negative integers are also integers.
array(0x1A => "b");         // Hexadecimal notation.

String keys

The keys for these arrays are strings:

array("fish and chips" => "b");
array("" => "b");                                   // An empty string is also a string.
array("stackoverflow_email@example.com" => "b");    // Strings may contain non-alphanumeric characters.
array("stack\t\"over\"\r\nflow's cool" => "b");     // Strings may contain special characters.
array('$tα€k↔øv∈rflöw⛄' => "b");                    // Strings may contain all kinds of symbols.
array("functіon" => "b");                           // You think this looks fine? Think again! (see https://stackoverflow.com/q/9246051/1402846)
array("ま말轉转ДŁ" => "b");                         // How about Japanese/Korean/Chinese/Russian/Polish?
array("fi\x0sh" => "b");                            // Strings may contain null characters.
array(file_get_contents("https://www.google.com/images/nav_logo114.png") => "b");   // Strings may even be binary!

Integer keys that look like strings

If you think the key in array("13" => "b") is a string, you are wrong. From the doc here:

Strings containing valid integers will be cast to the integer type. E.g. the key “8” will actually be stored under 8. On the other hand “08” will not be cast, as it isn’t a valid decimal integer.

For example, the key for these arrays are integers:

array("13" => "b");
array("-13" => "b");                        // Negative, ok.

But the key for these arrays are strings:

array("13." => "b");
array("+13" => "b");                        // Positive, not ok.
array("-013" => "b");
array("0x1A" => "b");                       // Not converted to integers even though it's a valid hexadecimal number.
array("013" => "b");                        // Not converted to integers even though it's a valid octal number.
array("18446744073709551616" => "b");       // Not converted to integers as it can't fit into a 64-bit integer.

What’s more, according to the doc,

The size of an integer is platform-dependent, although a maximum value of about two billion is the usual value (that’s 32 bits signed). 64-bit platforms usually have a maximum value of about 9E18, except for Windows, which is always 32 bit. PHP does not support unsigned integers.

So the key for this array may or may not be an integer – it depends on your platform.

array("60000000000" => "b");                // Array key could be integer or string, it can fit into a 64-bit (but not 32-bit) integer.

Even worse, PHP tends to be buggy if the integer is near the 231 = 2,147,483,648 boundary (see bug 51430, bug 52899). For example, on my local environment (PHP 5.3.8 on XAMPP 1.7.7 on Windows 7), var_dump(array("2147483647" => "b")) gives

array(1) {
    [2147483647]=>
    string(1) "b"
}   

but on this live demo on codepad (PHP 5.2.5), the same expression gives

array(1) {
    ["2147483647"]=>
    string(1) "b"
}

So the key is an integer in one environment but a string in another, even though 2147483647 is a valid signed 32-bit integer.

Answer:

Speed-wise:

function isAssoc($array)
{
    return ($array !== array_values($array));
}

Memory-wise:

function isAssoc($array)
{
    $array = array_keys($array); return ($array !== array_keys($array));
}

Answer:

function checkAssoc($array){
    return  ctype_digit( implode('', array_keys($array) ) );
}

Answer:

Actually the most efficient way is thus:

function is_assoc($array){
   $keys = array_keys($array);
   return $keys !== array_keys($keys);
}

This works because it compares the keys (which for a sequential array are always 0,1,2 etc) to the keys of the keys (which will always be 0,1,2 etc).

Answer:

I’ve used both array_keys($obj) !== range(0, count($obj) - 1) and array_values($arr) !== $arr (which are duals of each other, although the second is cheaper than the first) but both fail for very large arrays.

This is because array_keys and array_values are both very costly operations (since they build a whole new array of size roughly that of the original).

The following function is more robust than the methods provided above:

function array_type( $obj ){
    $last_key = -1;
    $type = 'index';
    foreach( $obj as $key => $val ){
        if( !is_int( $key ) || $key < 0 ){
            return 'assoc';
        }
        if( $key !== $last_key + 1 ){
            $type = 'sparse';
        }
        $last_key = $key;
    }
    return $type;
}

Also note that if you don’t care to differentiate sparse arrays from associative arrays you can simply return 'assoc' from both if blocks.

Finally, while this might seem much less “elegant” than a lot of “solutions” on this page, in practice it is vastly more efficient. Almost any associative array will be detected instantly. Only indexed arrays will get checked exhaustively, and the methods outlined above not only check indexed arrays exhaustively, they duplicate them.

Answer:

I think the following two functions are the best way to go for checking ‘if an array is associative or numeric’. Since ‘numeric’ could mean only numeric keys or only sequential numeric keys, two functions are listed below that check either condition:

function is_indexed_array(&$arr) {
  for (reset($arr); is_int(key($arr)); next($arr));
  return is_null(key($arr));
}

function is_sequential_array(&$arr, $base = 0) {
  for (reset($arr), $base = (int) $base; key($arr) === $base++; next($arr));
  return is_null(key($arr));
}

The first function checks if each key is an integer value. The second function checks if each key is an integer value and in addition checks if all keys are sequential starting at $base, which defaults to 0 and thus can be omitted if you do not need to specify another base value. key($my_array) returns null if the read pointer is moved past the end of the array, which is what ends the for loop and makes the statement after the for loop return true if all keys were integer. If not, the loop ends prematurely because a key is of type string, and the statement after the for loop will return false. The latter function in addition adds one to $base after each compare, to be able to check if the next key is of the correct value. The strict compare makes it also check if the key is of type integer. The $base = (int) $base part in the first section of the for loop can be left out when $base is omitted or if you make sure it is only called using an integer. But since I can’t be sure for everybody, I left it in. The statement is executed only once, anyway. I think these are the most efficient solutions:

  • Memory wise: No copying of data or key ranges. Doing an array_values or array_keys may seem shorter (less code) but keep in mind what goes on in the background once you make that call. Yes there are more (visible) statements than in some other solutions, but that is not what counts, is it?
  • Time wise: Besides the fact that copying/extracting data and/or keys also takes time, this solution is more efficient than doing a foreach. Again a foreach may seem more efficient to some because it is shorter in notation, but in the background foreach also calls reset, key and next to do it’s looping. But in addition it also calls valid to check the end condition, which is avoided here due to the combination with the integer check.

Remember that an array key can only be an integer or a string, and a strictly numeric string such as “1” (but not “01”) will be translated into an integer. Which is what makes checking for an integer key the only needed operation besides counting if you want the array to be sequential. Naturally, if is_indexed_array returns false the array can be seen as associative. I say ‘seen’, because in fact they all are.

Answer:

This function can handle:

  • array with holes in index (e.g. 1,2,4,5,8,10)
  • array with “0x” keys: e.g. key ’08’ is associative while key ‘8’ is sequential.

the idea is simple: if one of the keys is NOT an integer, it is associative array, otherwise it’s sequential.

function is_asso($a){
    foreach(array_keys($a) as $key) {if (!is_int($key)) return TRUE;}
    return FALSE;
}

Answer:

I noticed two popular approaches for this question: one using array_values() and other using key(). To find out which is faster, I wrote a small program:

$arrays = Array(
  'Array #1' => Array(1, 2, 3, 54, 23, 212, 123, 1, 1),
  'Array #2' => Array("Stack", 1.5, 20, Array(3.4)),
  'Array #3' => Array(1 => 4, 2 => 2),
  'Array #4' => Array(3.0, "2", 3000, "Stack", 5 => "4"),
  'Array #5' => Array("3" => 4, "2" => 2),
  'Array #6' => Array("0" => "One", 1.0 => "Two", 2 => "Three"),
  'Array #7' => Array(3 => "asdf", 4 => "asdf"),
  'Array #8' => Array("apple" => 1, "orange" => 2),
);

function is_indexed_array_1(Array &$arr) {
  return $arr === array_values($arr);
}

function is_indexed_array_2(Array &$arr) {
  for (reset($arr), $i = 0; key($arr) === $i++; next($arr))
    ;
  return is_null(key($arr));
}

// Method #1
$start = microtime(true);
for ($i = 0; $i < 1000; $i++) {
  foreach ($arrays as $array) {
    $dummy = is_indexed_array_1($array);
  }
}
$end = microtime(true);
echo "Time taken with method #1 = ".round(($end-$start)*1000.0,3)."ms\n";

// Method #2
$start = microtime(true);
for ($i = 0; $i < 1000; $i++) {
  foreach ($arrays as $array) {
    $dummy = is_indexed_array_2($array);
  }
}
$end = microtime(true);
echo "Time taken with method #1 = ".round(($end-$start)*1000.0,3)."ms\n";

Output for the program on PHP 5.2 on CentOS is as follows:

Time taken with method #1 = 10.745ms
Time taken with method #2 = 18.239ms

Output on PHP 5.3 yielded similar results. Obviously using array_values() is much faster.

Answer:

One way to approach this is to piggyback on json_encode, which already has its own internal method of differentiating between an associative array and an indexed array in order to output the correct JSON.

You can do this by checking to see if the first character returned after encoding is a { (associative array) or a [ (indexed array).

// Too short :)
function is_assoc($arr) {
    ksort($arr);
    return json_encode($arr)[0] === '{';
}

Answer:

There are many answers already, but here is the method that Laravel relies on within its Arr class:

/**
 * Determines if an array is associative.
 *
 * An array is "associative" if it doesn't have sequential numerical keys beginning with zero.
 *
 * @param  array  $array
 * @return bool
 */
public static function isAssoc(array $array)
{
    $keys = array_keys($array);

    return array_keys($keys) !== $keys;
}

Source: https://github.com/laravel/framework/blob/5.4/src/Illuminate/Support/Arr.php

Answer:

function array_is_assoc(array $a) {
    $i = 0;
    foreach ($a as $k => $v) {
        if ($k !== $i++) {
            return true;
        }
    }
    return false;
}

Fast, concise, and memory efficient. No expensive comparisons, function calls or array copying.

Answer:

By using xarray PHP extension

You can do this very fast (about 30+ times faster in PHP 5.6):

if (array_is_indexed($array)) {  }

Or:

if (array_is_assoc($array)) {  }

Answer:

I know it’s a bit pointless adding an answer to this huge queue, but here’s a readable O(n) solution that doesn’t require duplicating any values:

function isNumericArray($array) {
    $count = count($array);
    for ($i = 0; $i < $count; $i++) {
        if (!isset($array[$i])) {
            return FALSE;
        }
    }
    return TRUE;
}

Rather than check the keys to see if they are all numeric, you iterate over the keys that would be there for a numeric array and make sure they exist.

Answer:

My solution:

function isAssociative(array $array)
{
    return array_keys(array_merge($array)) !== range(0, count($array) - 1);
}

array_merge on a single array will reindex all integer keys, but not other. For example:

array_merge([1 => 'One', 3 => 'Three', 'two' => 'Two', 6 => 'Six']);

// This will returns [0 => 'One', 1 => 'Three', 'two' => 'Two', 2 => 'Six']

So if a list (a non-associative array) is created ['a', 'b', 'c'] then a value is removed unset($a[1]) then array_merge is called, the list is reindexed starting from 0.

Answer:

After some local benchmarking, debugging, compiler probing, profiling, and abusing 3v4l.org to benchmark across more versions (yes, I got a warning to stop) and
comparing against every variation I could find…

I give you an organically derived best-average-worst-case scenario associative array test function that is at worst roughly as good as or better than all other average-case scenarios.

/**
 * Tests if an array is an associative array.
 *
 * @param array $array An array to test.
 * @return boolean True if the array is associative, otherwise false.
 */
function is_assoc(array &$arr) {
    // don't try to check non-arrays or empty arrays
    if (FALSE === is_array($arr) || 0 === ($l = count($arr))) {
        return false;
    }

    // shortcut by guessing at the beginning
    reset($arr);
    if (key($arr) !== 0) {
        return true;
    }

    // shortcut by guessing at the end
    end($arr);
    if (key($arr) !== $l-1) {
        return true;
    }

    // rely on php to optimize test by reference or fast compare
    return array_values($arr) !== $arr;
}

From https://3v4l.org/rkieX:

<?php

// array_values
function method_1(Array &$arr) {
    return $arr === array_values($arr);
}

// method_2 was DQ; did not actually work

// array_keys
function method_3(Array &$arr) {
    return array_keys($arr) === range(0, count($arr) - 1);
}

// foreach
function method_4(Array &$arr) {
    $idx = 0;
    foreach( $arr as $key => $val ){
        if( $key !== $idx )
            return FALSE;
        ++$idx;
    }
    return TRUE;
}

// guessing
function method_5(Array &$arr) {
    global $METHOD_5_KEY;
    $i = 0;
    $l = count($arr)-1;

    end($arr);
    if ( key($arr) !== $l )
        return FALSE;

    reset($arr);
    do {
        if ( $i !== key($arr) )
            return FALSE;
        ++$i;
        next($arr);
    } while ($i < $l);
    return TRUE;
}

// naieve
function method_6(Array &$arr) {
    $i = 0;
    $l = count($arr);
    do {
        if ( NULL === @$arr[$i] )
            return FALSE;
        ++$i;
    } while ($i < $l);
    return TRUE;
}

// deep reference reliance
function method_7(Array &$arr) {
    return array_keys(array_values($arr)) === array_keys($arr);
}


// organic (guessing + array_values)
function method_8(Array &$arr) {
    reset($arr);
    if ( key($arr) !== 0 )
        return FALSE;

    end($arr);
    if ( key($arr) !== count($arr)-1 )
        return FALSE;

    return array_values($arr) === $arr;
}

function benchmark(Array &$methods, Array &$target, $expected){    
    foreach($methods as $method){
        $start = microtime(true);
        for ($i = 0; $i < 2000; ++$i) {
            //$dummy = call_user_func($method, $target);
            if ( $method($target) !== $expected ) {
                echo "Method $method is disqualified for returning an incorrect result.\n";
                unset($methods[array_search($method,$methods,true)]);
                $i = 0;
                break;
            }
        }
        if ( $i != 0 ) {
            $end = microtime(true);
            echo "Time taken with $method = ".round(($end-$start)*1000.0,3)."ms\n";
        }
    }
}



$true_targets = [
    'Giant array' => range(0, 500),
    'Tiny array' => range(0, 20),
];


$g = range(0,10);
unset($g[0]);

$false_targets = [
    'Large array 1' => range(0, 100) + ['a'=>'a'] + range(101, 200),
    'Large array 2' => ['a'=>'a'] + range(0, 200),
    'Tiny array' => range(0, 10) + ['a'=>'a'] + range(11, 20),
    'Gotcha array' => $g,
];

$methods = [
    'method_1',
    'method_3',
    'method_4',
    'method_5',
    'method_6',
    'method_7',
    'method_8'
];


foreach($false_targets as $targetName => $target){
    echo "==== Benchmark using $targetName expecing FALSE ====\n";
    benchmark($methods, $target, false);
    echo "\n";
}
foreach($true_targets as $targetName => $target){
    echo "==== Benchmark using $targetName expecting TRUE ====\n";
    benchmark($methods, $target, true);
    echo "\n";
}

Answer:

Here’s the method I use:

function is_associative ( $a )
{
    return in_array(false, array_map('is_numeric', array_keys($a)));
}

assert( true === is_associative(array(1, 2, 3, 4)) );

assert( false === is_associative(array('foo' => 'bar', 'bar' => 'baz')) );

assert( false === is_associative(array(1, 2, 3, 'foo' => 'bar')) );

Note that this doesn’t account for special cases like:

$a = array( 1, 2, 3, 4 );

unset($a[1]);

assert( true === is_associative($a) );

Sorry, can’t help you with that. It’s also somewhat performant for decently sized arrays, as it doesn’t make needless copies. It is these little things that makes Python and Ruby so much nicer to write in… 😛

Answer:

<?php

function is_list($array) {
    return array_keys($array) === range(0, count($array) - 1);
}

function is_assoc($array) {
    return count(array_filter(array_keys($array), 'is_string')) == count($array);
}

?>

Both of these examples, which scored the most points do not work correctly with arrays like $array = array('foo' => 'bar', 1)

Answer:

This would work too (demo):

function array_has_numeric_keys_only(array $array)
{
    try {
        SplFixedArray::fromArray($array, true);
    } catch (InvalidArgumentException $e) {
        return false;
    }
    return true;
}

Please note that the main point of this answer is to inform you about the existence of SplFixedArray and not to encourage you to use Exceptions for these kinds of tests.

Answer:

I think the definition of a scalar array will vary by application. That is, some applications will require a more strict sense of what qualifies as a scalar array, and some applications will require a more loose sense.

Below I present 3 methods of varying strictness.

<?php
/**
 * Since PHP stores all arrays as associative internally, there is no proper
 * definition of a scalar array.
 * 
 * As such, developers are likely to have varying definitions of scalar array,
 * based on their application needs.
 * 
 * In this file, I present 3 increasingly strict methods of determining if an
 * array is scalar.
 * 
 * @author David Farrell <DavidPFarrell@gmail.com>
 */

/**
 * isArrayWithOnlyIntKeys defines a scalar array as containing
 * only integer keys.
 * 
 * If you are explicitly setting integer keys on an array, you
 * may need this function to determine scalar-ness.
 * 
 * @param array $a
 * @return boolean
 */ 
function isArrayWithOnlyIntKeys(array $a)
{
    if (!is_array($a))
        return false;
    foreach ($a as $k => $v)
        if (!is_int($k))
            return false;
    return true;
}

/**
 * isArrayWithOnlyAscendingIntKeys defines a scalar array as
 * containing only integer keys in ascending (but not necessarily
 * sequential) order.
 * 
 * If you are performing pushes, pops, and unsets on your array,
 * you may need this function to determine scalar-ness.
 * 
 * @param array $a
 * @return boolean
 */ 
function isArrayWithOnlyAscendingIntKeys(array $a)
{
    if (!is_array($a))
        return false;
    $prev = null;
    foreach ($a as $k => $v)
    {
        if (!is_int($k) || (null !== $prev && $k <= $prev))
            return false;
        $prev = $k;
    }
    return true;
}

/**
 * isArrayWithOnlyZeroBasedSequentialIntKeys defines a scalar array
 * as containing only integer keys in sequential, ascending order,
 * starting from 0.
 * 
 * If you are only performing operations on your array that are
 * guaranteed to either maintain consistent key values, or that
 * re-base the keys for consistency, then you can use this function.
 * 
 * @param array $a
 * @return boolean
 */
function isArrayWithOnlyZeroBasedSequentialIntKeys(array $a)
{
    if (!is_array($a))
        return false;
    $i = 0;
    foreach ($a as $k => $v)
        if ($i++ !== $k)
            return false;
    return true;
}

Answer:

One more fast from source.
Fit encoding of json_encode (and bson_encode). So has javascript Array compliance.

function isSequential($value){
    if(is_array($value) || ($value instanceof \Countable && $value instanceof \ArrayAccess)){
        for ($i = count($value) - 1; $i >= 0; $i--) {
            if (!isset($value[$i]) && !array_key_exists($i, $value)) {
                return false;
            }
        }
        return true;
    } else {
        throw new \InvalidArgumentException(
            sprintf('Data type "%s" is not supported by method %s', gettype($value), __METHOD__)
        );
    }
}

Answer:

Could this be the solution?

  public static function isArrayAssociative(array $array) {
      reset($array);
      return !is_int(key($array));
  }

The caveat is obviously that the array cursor is reset but I’d say probably the function is used before the array is even traversed or used.

Answer:

answers are already given but there’s too much disinformation about performance.
I wrote this little benchmark script that shows that the foreach method is the fastest.

Disclaimer: following methods were copy-pasted from the other answers

<?php

function method_1(Array &$arr) {
    return $arr === array_values($arr);
}

function method_2(Array &$arr) {
    for (reset($arr), $i = 0; key($arr) !== $i++; next($arr));
    return is_null(key($arr));
}

function method_3(Array &$arr) {
    return array_keys($arr) === range(0, count($arr) - 1);
}

function method_4(Array &$arr) {
    $idx = 0;
    foreach( $arr as $key => $val ){
        if( $key !== $idx )
            return FALSE;
        $idx++;
    }
    return TRUE;
}




function benchmark(Array $methods, Array &$target){    
    foreach($methods as $method){
        $start = microtime(true);
        for ($i = 0; $i < 1000; $i++)
            $dummy = call_user_func($method, $target);

        $end = microtime(true);
        echo "Time taken with $method = ".round(($end-$start)*1000.0,3)."ms\n";
    }
}



$targets = [
    'Huge array' => range(0, 30000),
    'Small array' => range(0, 1000),
];
$methods = [
    'method_1',
    'method_2',
    'method_3',
    'method_4',
];
foreach($targets as $targetName => $target){
    echo "==== Benchmark using $targetName ====\n";
    benchmark($methods, $target);
    echo "\n";
}

results:

==== Benchmark using Huge array ====
Time taken with method_1 = 5504.632ms
Time taken with method_2 = 4509.445ms
Time taken with method_3 = 8614.883ms
Time taken with method_4 = 2720.934ms

==== Benchmark using Small array ====
Time taken with method_1 = 77.159ms
Time taken with method_2 = 130.03ms
Time taken with method_3 = 160.866ms
Time taken with method_4 = 69.946ms

Answer:

Or you can just use this:

Arr::isAssoc($array)

which will check if array contains any non-numeric key or:

Arr:isAssoc($array, true)

to check if array is strictly sequencial (contains auto generated int keys 0 to n-1)

using this library.

Answer:

A lot of the solutions here are elegant and pretty, but don’t scale well, and are memory intensive or CPU intensive. Most are creating 2 new data points in memory with this solution from both sides of the comparison. The larger the array the harder and longer the process and memory used, and you lose the benefit of short circuit evaluation. I Did some testing with a few different ideas. Trying to avoid array_key_exists as it is costly, and also avoiding creating new large datasets to compare. I feel this is a simple way to tell if an array is sequential.

public function is_sequential( $arr = [] ){
    if( !is_array( $arr ) || empty( $arr ) ) return false;

    $i = 0;

    $total = count( $arr );

    foreach( $arr as $key => $value ) if( $key !== $i++ ) return false;

    return true;
}

You run a single count on the main array and store a single integer. You then loop through the array and check for an exact match while iterating the counter. You should have from 1 to count. If it fails it will short circuit out which gives you performance boost when it is false.

Originally I did this with a for loop and checking for isset( $arr[$i] ) but this will not detect null keys which requires array_key_exists, and as we know that is the worst function to use for speed.

Constantly updating variables via foreach to check along with the iterator never growing past it’s integer size let’s PHP use it’s built in memory optimization, caching and garbage collection to keep you at very low resource usage.

Also, I will argue that using array_keys in a foreach is silly when you can simply run $key => $value and check the key. Why create the new data point? Once you abstract away the array keys you’ve consumed more memory immediately.

Answer:

Unless PHP has a builtin for that, you won’t be able to do it in less than O(n) – enumerating over all the keys and checking for integer type. In fact, you also want to make sure there are no holes, so your algorithm might look like:

for i in 0 to len(your_array):
    if not defined(your-array[i]):
        # this is not an array array, it's an associative array :)

But why bother? Just assume the array is of the type you expect. If it isn’t, it will just blow up in your face – that’s dynamic programming for you! Test your code and all will be well…

Answer:

I compare the difference between the keys of the array and the keys of the result of array_values() of the array, which will always be an array with integer indices. If the keys are the same, it’s not an associative array.

function isHash($array) {
    if (!is_array($array)) return false;
    $diff = array_diff_assoc($array, array_values($array));
    return (empty($diff)) ? false : true;
}

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