BC-Math formula interpreter for PHP

php, bcmath



A formula interpreter for php using BC-Math

This library is a fork of the mormat/php-formula-interpreter adapted to use BC-Math. If you are looking for a similar library without the need for arbitrary precision mathematics, please use that one.

Why this library ?

Some user could wants to perform a simple calculation and being able to change it as much as he can. Before using a library, you could use the eval function. But this method has two major drawbacks :

  • Security. A php script is being evaluated by the eval function. Php is a very powerful language, perhaps too powerful for a user especially when the user wants to inject malicious code.

  • Complexity. Php is also complex for someone who doesn't understand programming language. It could be nice to interpret an excel-like formula instead.


  • PHP >= 7.0
  • The BC-Math PHP extension


The recommended way to install this library is through composer.

Run the Composer command to install the formula interpreter:

composer require ibthedatacompany/bcmath-formula-interpreter

How does it work ?

First, create an instance of \IB\FormulaInterpreter\Compiler

$compiler = new \IB\FormulaInterpreter\Compiler();

Then use the compile()method to parse the formula you want to interpret. It will return an instance of \IB\FormulaInterpreter\Executable :

$executable = $compiler->compile('2 + 2');

Finally run the formula from the executable :

$result = $executable->run();
// $result equals 4

Using operators

Operator multiplication (*) and division () are being evaluted first, then addition (+) and subtraction (-)

You can also force the prioriry of an expression by using parentheses like this

'2 * (3 + 2)'

You can use as many parentheses as you like.

'2 * (2 * (3 + 2 * (3 + 2)) + 2)'

Others operators like modulo, power, etc. will be implemented in the future as functions.

Using variables

A variable is just a word inside your formula like this :

'price * rate / 100'

Just before executing a formula, make sure to inject all the required variables in an array

$variables = [
   'price' => '40.2',
   'rate' => '12.8'


Note that all variables should be numeric string representations.

Using functions

Here is an example of expression using a function :


Available functions : pi, pow, cos, sin, sqrt & modulo

You can embed functions as much as you like

   'pow(sqrt(4), 2)'

Listing parameters

You can get a list of all variables that must be provided to the run() method in order to run the executable:

$executable = $compiler->compile('foo + bar');


This will output:

        [0] => foo
        [0] => bar


The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.