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Following an exchange of correspondence, I met Ross in Adelaide in June 1988. I was approached by the University of Adelaide about being an external examiner for this dissertation and willingly agreed. Upon receiving a copy of this work, what struck me most was the scholarship with which Ross approaches and advances this relatively new field of adaptive data compression. This scholarship, coupled with the ability to express himself clearly using figures, tables, and incisive prose, demanded that Ross's dissertation be given a wider audience. And so this thesis was brought to the attention of Kluwer. The modern data compression paradigm furthered by this work is based upon the separation of adaptive context modelling, adaptive statistics, and arithmetic coding. This work offers the most complete bibliography on this subject I am aware of. It provides an excellent and lucid review of the field, and should be equally as beneficial to newcomers as to those of us already in the field.