Elements of Statistical Learning: free book download

January 9, 2013

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The go-to bible for this data scientist and many others is The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman. Each of the authors is an expert in machine learning / prediction, and in some cases invented the techniques we turn to today to make sense of big data: ensemble learning methods, penalized regression, additive models and nonparemetric smoothing, and much much more.

In 2009, the second edition of the book added new chapters on random forests, ensemble learning, undirected graphical models, and high dimensional problems. And now, thanks to an agreement between the authors and the publisher, a PDF version of the 2nd edition is now available for free download.

The book website also provides a wealth of useful supplemental materials, including R packages implementing the methods, data for the examples, and diagrams from the book for use by instructors.

I've included the author's description of the book below. You may also be interested in attending one of their regular public courses at Stanford University.  

The Elements of Statistical Learning (2nd edition)

During the past decade has been an explosion in computation and information technology. With it has come vast amounts of data in a variety of fields such as medicine, biology, finance, and marketing. The challenge of understanding these data has led to the development of new tools in the field of statistics, and spawned new areas such as data mining, machine learning, and bioinformatics. Many of these tools have common underpinnings but are often expressed with different terminology. This book descibes the important ideas in these areas in a common conceptual framework. While the approach is statistical, the emphasis is on concepts rather than mathematics. Many examples are given, with a liberal use of color graphics. It should be a valuable resource for statisticians and anyone interested in data mining in science or industry. The book's coverage is broad, from supervised learning (prediction) to unsupervised learning. The many topics include neural networks, support vector machines, classification trees and boosting–the first comprehensive treatment of this topic in any book. 

This major new edition features many topics not covered in the original, including graphical models, random forests, ensemble methods, least angle regression & path algorithms for the lasso, non-negative matrix factorization and spectral clustering. There is also a chapter on methods for "wide" data (p bigger than n), including multiple testing and false discovery rates. 

Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman are professors of statistics at Stanford University. They are prominent researchers in this area: Hastie and Tibshirani developed generalized additive models and wrote a popular book of that title. Hastie wrote much of the statistical modeling software in S-PLUS and invented principal curves and surfaces. Tibshirani proposed the Lasso and is co-author of the very successful An Introduction to the Bootstrap. Friedman is the co-inventor of many data-mining tools including CART, MARS, and projection pursuit.

Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman: The Elements of Statistical Learning (2nd edition)

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