in reply to Searching strings within an array for a particular word.

Instead of using ps and grep, why not use Proc::ProcessTable? If you're on one of its supported systems (and quite a few are supported), you can use it to parse the process table instead of the ps command. Then you could do (untested and probably wrong, since I have no access to this module):
use strict; use Proc::ProcessTable; sub is_running { my ($pattern) = @_; my $t = Proc::ProcessTable->new(); foreach $proc ( @{ $t->table() } ) { $proc->cmndline() =~ /^$pattern/ and return 1; } return 0; }
You might also want to take a look at Watchdog.