Human identification at a distance has recently gained growing interest from computer vision researchers. Gait recognition aims essentially to address this problem by identifying people based on the way they walk. In this paper, a simple but efficient gait recognition algorithm using spatial-temporal silhouette analysis is proposed. For each image sequence, a background subtraction algorithm and a simple correspondence procedure are first used to segment and track the moving silhouettes of a walking figure. Then, eigenspace transformation based on principal component analysis (PCA) is applied to time-varying distance signals derived from a sequence of silhouette images to reduce the dimensionality of the input feature space. Supervised pattern classification techniques are finally performed in the lower-dimensional eigenspace for recognition. This method implicitly captures the structural and transitional characteristics of gait. Extensive experimental results on outdoor image sequences demonstrate that the proposed algorithm has an encouraging recognition performance with relatively low computational cost.