A pattern matching system includes, in part, a multitude of databases each configured to store and supply compressed data for matching to the received data. The system divides each data stream into a multitude of segments and optionally computes a data pattern from the data stream prior to the division into a multitude of segments. Segments of the data pattern are used to define an address for one or more memory tables. The memory tables are read such that the outputs of one or more memory tables are used to define the address of another memory table. If during any matching cycle, the data retrieved from any of the successively accessed memory tables include an identifier related to any or all previously accessed memory tables, a matched state is detected. A matched state contains information related to the memory location at which the match occurs as well as information related to the matched pattern, such as the match location in the input data stream.
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