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String matching is a fundamental issue in computer science. This paper presents a lightweight string matching algorithm for short pattern matching, in which less than 20 keywords are often involved in the pattern set. The new algorithm makes use of condensed hash tables and computes the shift distance after each test by observing the character that immediately passes the test window. Experiments show that the new algorithm improves execution speed and decreases memory requirement. This algorithm is suitable for applications with small pattern set (i.e. containing up to 30 keywords), particularly for embedded equipments.