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An effective gait recognition approach based on the gait energy image (GEI) representation is proposed. Synthetic GEIs are first created to address the problem of lacking training data. Then the Gabor phase spectrum of the GEI which was ignored in previous works is utilised as an input feature, and it is subsequently projected into a low dimensional space by linear discriminant analysis to perform classification. Experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms other algorithms in terms of recognition accuracy.