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Detection of pedestrians in images and video sequences is important for many applications but is very challenging due to the various silhouettes of pedestrians and partial occlusions. This paper describes a two-stage robust pedestrian detection approach. The first stage uses a full body detector applied to a single image to generate pedestrian candidates. In the second stage, each pedestrian candidate is verified with a detector ensemble consisting of part detectors. The full body detector is trained based on improved shapelet features, while the part detectors make use of Haar-like wavelets as features. All the detectors are trained by a boosting method. The responses of the part detectors are then combined using a detector ensemble. The verification process is formulated as a combinatorial optimization problem with a genetic algorithm for optimization. Then, the detection results are regarded as equivalent classes so that multiple detections of the same pedestrian are quickly merged together. Tests show that this approach has a detection rate of over 95% for 0.1% FPPW on the INRIA dataset, which is significantly better than that of the original shapelet feature based approach and the existing detector ensemble approach. This approach can robustly detect pedestrians in different situations.