Dedicated to the memory of the late Professor King Sun Fu (1930-1985), the handbook series, with first edition (1993), second edition (1999) and third edition (2005), provides a comprehensive, concise and balanced coverage of the progress and achievements in the field of pattern recognition and computer vision in the last twenty years. This is a highly dynamic field which has been expanding greatly over the last thirty years. No handbook can cover the essence of all aspects of the field and we have not attempted to do that. The carefully selected 33 chapters in the current edition were written by leaders in the field and we believe that the book and its sister volumes, the first and second editions, will provide the growing pattern recognition and computer vision community a set of valuable resource books that can last for a long time. Each chapter will speak for itself the importance of the subject area covered.
The book continues to contain five parts. Part 1 is on the basic methods of pattern recognition. Though there are only five chapters, the readers may find other coverage of basic methods in the first and second editions. Part 2 is on basic methods in computer vision. Again readers may find that Part 2 complements well what were offered in the first and second editions. Part 3 on recognition applications continues to emphasize on character recognition and document processing. It also presents new applications in digital mammograms, remote sensing images and functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Currently one intensively explored area of pattern recognition applications is the personal identification problem, also called biometrics, though the problem has been around for a number of years. Part 4 is especially devoted to this topic area. Indeed chapters in both Part 3 and Part 4 represent the growing importance of applications in pattern recognition. In fact Prof. Fu had envisioned the growth of pattern recognition applications in the early 60's He and his group at Purdue had worked on the character recognition, speech recognition, fingerprint recognition, seismic pattern recognition, biomedical and remote sensing recognition problems, etc. Part 5 on system and technology presents other important aspects of pattern recognition and computer vision.