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Techniques that can introduce low-dimensional feature representation with enhanced discriminatory power is of paramount importance in face recognition (FR) systems. It is well known that the distribution of face images, under a perceivable variation in viewpoint, illumination or facial expression, is highly nonlinear and complex. It is, therefore, not surprising that linear techniques, such as those based on principle component analysis (PCA) or linear discriminant analysis (LDA), cannot provide reliable and robust solutions to those FR problems with complex face variations. In this paper, we propose a kernel machine-based discriminant analysis method, which deals with the nonlinearity of the face patterns' distribution. The proposed method also effectively solves the so-called "small sample size" (SSS) problem, which exists in most FR tasks. The new algorithm has been tested, in terms of classification error rate performance, on the multiview UMIST face database. Results indicate that the proposed methodology is able to achieve excellent performance with only a very small set of features being used, and its error rate is approximately 34% and 48% of those of two other commonly used kernel FR approaches, the kernel-PCA (KPCA) and the generalized discriminant analysis (GDA), respectively.