Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 55-127
  3. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 129-186
  4. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 187-203
  5. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 205-258
  6. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 259-289
  7. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 291-310
  8. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 311-323
  9. Richard A. Berk
    Pages 325-332
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 333-347

About this book


This textbook considers statistical learning applications when interest centers on the conditional distribution of the response variable, given a set of predictors, and when it is important to characterize how the predictors are related to the response. As a first approximation, this can be seen as an extension of nonparametric regression.

This fully revised new edition includes important developments over the past 8 years. Consistent with modern data analytics, it emphasizes that a proper statistical learning data analysis derives from sound data collection, intelligent data management, appropriate statistical procedures, and an accessible interpretation of results. A continued emphasis on the implications for practice runs through the text. Among the statistical learning procedures examined are bagging, random forests, boosting, support vector machines and neural networks. Response variables may be quantitative or categorical. As in the first edition, a unifying theme is supervised learning that can be treated as a form of regression analysis.

Key concepts and procedures are illustrated with real applications, especially those with practical implications. A principal instance is the need to explicitly take into account asymmetric costs in the fitting process. For example, in some situations false positives may be far less costly than false negatives.  Also provided is helpful craft lore such as not automatically ceding data analysis decisions to a fitting algorithm. In many settings, subject-matter knowledge should trump formal fitting criteria. Yet another important message is to appreciate the limitation of one’s data and not apply statistical learning procedures that require more than the data can provide.

The material is written for upper undergraduate level and graduate students in the social and life sciences and for researchers who want to apply statistical learning procedures to scientific and policy problems. The author uses this book in a course on modern regression for the social, behavioral, and biological sciences. Intuitive explanations and visual representations are prominent. All of the analyses included are done in R with code routinely provided.


classification random forests statistical learning support vector machines regression analysis statistical learning statistics for social sciences support vector machines

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard A. Berk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Criminology, Schools of Arts and SciencesUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Mathematics and Statistics
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-44047-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-44048-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1431-875X
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-4136
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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