This page is obselete: the Third Edition is now available.

Modern Applied Statistics with S-PLUS. Second Edition

by W. N. Venables and B.D. Ripley

Springer. ISBN 0-387-98214-0, 1997.

Hardback 232mm × 155mm, xiv+548 pages, 1 colour figure

[Image of Cover]

The Second Edition was published in July 1997 and had a second printing in December 1997 and a third in November 1998. The First Edition (ISBN 0-387-94350-1) was published in 1994, had four printings and sold over 10,000 copies.

On-line material:
Description Contents Differences from First Edition
On-line Complements Exercises and Selected Answers Software and Datasets
Errata Contact authors Publisher's Web Sites

There are mirrors of this material at Oxford, StatLib (Pittsburgh) and Wisconsin.


S-PLUS is a powerful environment for statistical and graphical analysis of data. It provides the tools to implement many statistical ideas which have been made possible by the widespread availability of workstations having good graphics and computational capabilities. This book is a guide to using S-PLUS to perform statistical analyses and provides both an introduction to the use of S-PLUS and a course in modern statistical methods. S-PLUS is available for both Windows and UNIX workstations.

The aim of the book is to show how to use S-PLUS as a powerful and graphical system. Readers are assumed to have a basic grounding in statistics, and so the book is intended for would-be users of S-PLUS, and both students and researchers using statistics. Throughout the emphasis is on presenting practical problems and full analyses of real data sets. Many of the methods discussed are state-of-the-art approaches to topics such as linear and non-linear regression models, robust and smooth regression methods, survival analysis, multivariate analysis, tree-based methods, time series and spatial statistics.

This second edition is intended for users of S-PLUS 3.3, 3.4, 4.0 or later. It covers the recent developments in graphics and new statistical functionality, including bootstrapping, mixed effects linear and non-linear models, factor analysis and regression with autocorrelated errors. The material on S-PLUS programming has been re-written to explain the full story behind the object-oriented programming features.

The authors have written several software libraries which enhance S-PLUS; these and all the data sets used are available on the Internet in versions for Windows and Unix.

S-PLUS is a commercial system of the Data Analysis Products Division of MathSoft Inc.


  1. Introduction
  2. The S language
  3. Graphical output
  4. Programming in S
  5. Distributions and data summaries
  6. Linear statistical models
  7. Generalized linear models
  8. Robust statistics
  9. Non-linear regression models
  10. Random and mixed effects
  11. Modern regression
  12. Survival analysis
  1. Multivariate analysis
  2. Tree-based methods
  3. Time series
  4. Spatial statistics
  5. Classification


  1. Datasets and software
  2. Common S-PLUS functions
  3. Using S libraries

Exercises and Selected Answers

Many additional exercises on both S programming and data analysis are available for downloading. There are answers to almost all the programming exercises and some of the data analysis problems. gzip-ed PostScript (135Kb)
VR2ans.zipzip-ed PostScript(135Kb)

The PDF version has extensive hyperlinks, for example between exercises and their answers. Viewers can be downloaded from; a suitable viewer is normally installed with S-PLUS 4.x..


There are errata lists available for

First Edition first second third fourth
Second Edition first second third

Differences from the First Edition

The First Edition was written when S-PLUS 3.1 was current; version 3.2 appeared during production. Later printings have made small changes in the light of versions 3.3 and 3.4.

The Second Edition has been extensively revised, assuming that the reader has S-PLUS 3.3 or later. The Windows version of S-PLUS has become much more capable and more popular, and is given equal prominence with the Unix version. (The authors regularly use both and have participated in the beta-test program for 4.0 for Windows.)

There is new material on the recent developments in graphics and new statistical functionality in S-PLUS, including bootstrapping, mixed effects linear and non-linear models, factor analysis and regression with autocorrelated errors. The programming material has been re-written and expanded to explain the important concepts of object-oriented programming in S-PLUS in much more detail. The chapter on linear models now discusses the topic of coding in model matrices (which many readers find confusing) in much more depth. There is a new chapter on (supervised) classification methods.

Some of the more specialized or platform-dependent material (for example on dynamic loading and creating libraries) has been removed to on-line complements. There are more exercises, and many further exercises (with selected answers) are available on-line.


Dr W. N. Venables
Department of Statistics
University of Adelaide
Adelaide, South Australia 5005


Professor B. D. Ripley
Department of Statistics
1 South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3TG



Links are provided to Springer's home pages in Germany and the USA

Last edited on Thursday 1 January 1998 by Brian Ripley