An Introduction to Statistical Learning

with Applications in R

  • Textbook
  • © 2021
  • Latest edition


  • Presents an essential statistical learning toolkit for practitioners in science, industry, and other fields
  • Demonstrates application of the statistical learning methods in R
  • Includes new chapters on deep learning, survival analysis, and multiple testing
  • Covers a range of topics, such as linear regression, classification, resampling methods, shrinkage approaches, tree-based methods, support vector machines, clustering, and deep learning
  • Features extensive color graphics for a dynamic learning experience
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Springer Texts in Statistics (STS)

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About this book

An Introduction to Statistical Learning provides an accessible overview of the field of statistical learning, an essential toolset for making sense of the vast and complex data sets that have emerged in fields ranging from biology to finance to marketing to astrophysics in the past twenty years. This book presents some of the most important modeling and prediction techniques, along with relevant applications. Topics include linear regression, classification, resampling methods, shrinkage approaches, tree-based methods, support vector machines, clustering, deep learning, survival analysis, multiple testing, and more. Color graphics and real-world examples are used to illustrate the methods presented. Since the goal of this textbook is to facilitate the use of these statistical learning techniques by practitioners in science, industry, and other fields, each chapter contains a tutorial on implementing the analyses and methods presented in R, an extremely popular open source statistical software platform.

Two of the authors co-wrote The Elements of Statistical Learning (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, 2nd edition 2009), a popular reference book for statistics and machine learning researchers. An Introduction to Statistical Learning covers many of the same topics, but at a level accessible to a much broader audience. This book is targeted at statisticians and non-statisticians alike who wish to use cutting-edge statistical learning techniques to analyze their data. The text assumes only a previous course in linear regression and no knowledge of matrix algebra.

This Second Edition features new chapters on deep learning, survival analysis, and multiple testing, as well as expanded treatments of naïve Bayes, generalized linear models, Bayesian additive regression trees, and matrix completion. R code has been updated throughout to ensure compatibility.

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Table of contents (13 chapters)


"An Introduction to Statistical Learning (ISL)" by James, Witten, Hastie and Tibshirani is the "how to'' manual for statistical learning. Inspired by "The Elements of Statistical Learning'' (Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman), this book provides clear and intuitive guidance on how to implement cutting edge statistical and machine learning methods. ISL makes modern methods accessible to a wide audience without requiring a background in Statistics or Computer Science. The authors give precise, practical explanations of what methods are available, and when to use them, including explicit R code. Anyone who wants to intelligently analyze complex data should own this book." (Larry Wasserman, Professor, Department of Statistics and Machine Learning Department, Carnegie Mellon University)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Data Science and Operations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

    Gareth James

  • Department of Statistics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

    Daniela Witten

  • Department of Statistics, Stanford University, Stanford, USA

    Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani

About the authors

Gareth James is a professor of data sciences and operations, and the E. Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration, at the University of Southern California. He has published an extensive body of methodological work in the domain of statistical learning with particular emphasis on high-dimensional and functional data. The conceptual framework for this book grew out of his MBA elective courses in this area.

Daniela Witten is a professor of statistics and biostatistics, and the Dorothy Gilford Endowed Chair, at the University of Washington. Her research focuses largely on statistical machine learning techniques for the analysis of complex, messy, and large-scale data, with an emphasis on unsupervised learning.

Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani are professors of statistics at Stanford University, and are co-authors of the successful textbook Elements of Statistical Learning. Hastie and Tibshirani developed generalized additive models and wrote a popular book of that title. Hastie co-developed much of the statistical modeling software and environment in R/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.      

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