Since the first edition of this book was published in 1986 it has found its way to many desks and classrooms. The fourth edition has bee completely revised and expanded to reflect the development of the field. The presentation and the selection of materials is guided by the needs of a researcher who wants to apply image processing techniques in his or her field. In this sense the book offers an integral view of image processing from image acquisition to the extraction of the data of interest. The discussion of the general concepts is supplemented with examples from applications on PC-based image processing systems and ready-to-use implementations of important algorithms. The CD-ROM contains examples, images as well as exercises for self-study along with a hand-on version of the image processing software heurisko.