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This paper addresses the problem of automatically tuning multiple kernel parameters for the kernel-based linear discriminant analysis (LDA) method. The kernel approach has been proposed to solve face recognition problems under complex distribution by mapping the input space to a high-dimensional feature space. Some recognition algorithms such as the kernel principal components analysis, kernel Fisher discriminant, generalized discriminant analysis, and kernel direct LDA have been developed in the last five years. The experimental results show that the kernel-based method is a good and feasible approach to tackle the pose and illumination variations. One of the crucial factors in the kernel approach is the selection of kernel parameters, which highly affects the generalization capability and stability of the kernel-based learning methods. In view of this, we propose an eigenvalue-stability-bounded margin maximization (ESBMM) algorithm to automatically tune the multiple parameters of the Gaussian radial basis function kernel for the kernel subspace LDA (KSLDA) method, which is developed based on our previously developed subspace LDA method. The ESBMM algorithm improves the generalization capability of the kernel-based LDA method by maximizing the margin maximization criterion while maintaining the eigenvalue stability of the kernel-based LDA method. An in-depth investigation on the generalization performance on pose and illumination dimensions is performed using the YaleB and CMU PIE databases. The FERET database is also used for benchmark evaluation. Compared with the existing PCA-based and LDA-based methods, our proposed KSLDA method, with the ESBMM kernel parameter estimation algorithm, gives superior performance.