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The locally linear embedding (LLE) is improved by introducing multiple linearly independent local weight vectors for each neighborhood. We characterize the reconstruction weights and show the existence of the linearly independent weight vectors at each neighborhood. The modified locally linear embedding (MLLE) proposed in this paper is much stable. It can retrieve the ideal embedding if MLLE is applied on data points sampled from an isometric manifold. MLLE is also compared with the local tangent space alignment (LTSA). Numerical examples are given that show the improvement and efficiency of MLLE.