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In this paper, a multi-resolution feature extraction algorithm for face recognition is proposed based on two-dimensional discrete wavelet transform (2D-DWT), which efficiently exploits the local spatial variations in a face image. For the purpose of feature extraction, instead of considering the entire face image, an entropy-based local band selection criterion is developed, which selects high-informative horizontal segments from the face image. In order to capture the local spatial variations within these high-informative horizontal bands precisely, dominant wavelet coefficients corresponding to each local region residing inside those horizontal bands are selected as features. In the selection of the dominant coefficients, a threshold criterion is proposed, which not only drastically reduces the feature dimension but also provides high within-class compactness and high between-class separability. Extensive experimentation is carried out upon standard face databases and a very high degree of recognition accuracy is achieved by the proposed method in comparison to those obtained by some of the existing methods.