This 1996 book is a reliable account of the statistical framework for pattern recognition and machine learning. With unparalleled coverage and a wealth of case-studies this book gives valuable insight into both the theory and the enormously diverse applications (which can be found in remote sensing, astrophysics, engineering and medicine, for example). So that readers can develop their skills and understanding, many of the real data sets used in the book are available from the author's website: www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/PRbook/. For the same reason, many examples are included to illustrate real problems in pattern recognition. Unifying principles are highlighted, and the author gives an overview of the state of the subject, making the book valuable to experienced researchers in statistics, machine learning/artificial intelligence and engineering. The clear writing style means that the book is also a superb introduction for non-specialists.
Brian Ripley is the Professor of Applied Statistics at the University of Oxford and a member of the Department of Statistics as well as a Professorial Fellow of St. Peter's College.