Welcome to the Internet version of

The Data Analysis BriefBook

The BriefBook is a condensed handbook, or an extended glossary, written in encyclopedic format, covering subjects in statistics, computing, analysis, and related fields. It intends to be both introduction and reference for data analysts, scientists and engineers.
The Data Analysis BriefBook has been prepared by

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You will access version 16, which is also available as a book (order directly from Springer or from your preferred bookstore). The Internet version will be updated occasionally, and is not necessarily identical to the printed version.

In all cases, we appreciate your feedback: please send comments, error corrections, or your suggestions for new contributions, to R.K.Bock.


Part of the information has been derived, with permission, from a booklet FORMULAE AND METHODS IN EXPERIMENTAL DATA EVALUATION, published in 1984 by the European Physical Society, and out of print since many years. This BriefBook is a major update and extension, but some original contributions by V.Blobel (Hamburg), S.Brandt (Siegen), R.Frühwirth (Vienna), F.James (Geneva), J.Myrheim (Copenhagen), and M.Regler (Vienna) are acknowledged. Parts related to physics have been eliminated and are now presented separately as The Particle Detector BriefBook.


Some comments on this Internet version of The Data Analysis BriefBook:

The html version has been generated automatically, using Latex2html version 3.1. Minor adjustments by hand were necessary; if in some places the html presentation is not optimal, we ask for your understanding.

Although itself available on Internet with multiple internal cross references, you will find practically no URLs of other external sites; we have found much interesting information with our browsers, but a good deal of it can be characterized as shortlived, unfinished and abandoned, unchecked, or sometimes even containing outright errors.

It is our intention to avoid these pitfalls as best we can: the BriefBook has been conceived primarily as a book, i.e. with stability in mind. The BriefBook is sure to contain some errors: we will be eager to correct them. In some areas, it is incomplete: we will include obvious omissions and let it evolve slowly towards other, related subjects. Updates, however, will be carefully grouped, and somewhat oriented along the lines successive printed editions take.

All this being said, we want to give here some pointers towards sites where definitely useful, in many cases more detailed, and hopefully long-lived information can be found:

  • Numerical Recipes (Press et al., books and algorithms in C or Fortran)
  • StatSoft (Statistics textbook in electronic form)
  • Statistics algorithms from the Royal Statistical Society
  • Links to General Numerical Analysis Sites
  • Mathematics Archives: lessons, tutorials, course material
  • Algorithm course material - a wide selection



    Rudolf K.Bock, March 1999