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A novel approach to pattern matching is presented in which time complexity is reduced by two orders of magnitude compared to traditional approaches. The suggested approach uses an efficient projection scheme which bounds the distance between a pattern and an image window using very few operations on average. The projection framework is combined with a rejection scheme which allows rapid rejection of image windows that are distant from the pattern. Experiments show that the approach is effective even under very noisy conditions. The approach described here can also be used in classification schemes where the projection values serve as input features that are informative and fast to extract.