It is a bitter-sweet moment to be here at the launch of Chris Wallace's "MML book." A sweet moment because this work is finally in print between hard shiny covers, and a bitter one because he is not here to see it.
Early versions of some chapters were circulated at the International Conference on Information, Statistics and Induction in Science (ISIS) organized by the Department of Computer Science in 1996, and we have been waiting on the book's final form ever since.
The manuscript was essentially complete in early to mid 2004, but it is only recently that I have seen the whole book assembled in its final form. We owe a debt to David Albrecht, Ingrid Zukerman and Judith Wallace for ensuring that it has been put together as Chris wanted. They have done a fine job.
MML research goes back to
at least 1968
and continues apace.
It is only one of Chris's "really excellent ideas"
(when The Age
featured Victorian University Research on
My favourite chapter of the book is perhaps the least useful but
most thought provoking:
Chris Wallace was a genius which makes the book the work of a genius. I also believe that it is a work of genius. Imagine for a moment that you have just had some idea, of which you are feeling rather proud, in the area of machine learning and statistics. Well if it is a good idea it is probably treated in some subsection here. Chris very likely considered the idea, extended it, worked out the maths, and did the experiments. He was impressive and inspiring, always helpful and generous, in that way.
-- Lloyd Allison, 2005.
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