A new approach to texture discrimination is described. This approach is based upon an assumed stochastic model for texture in imagery and is an approximation to the statistically optimum maximum likelihood classifier. The construction and properties of the stochastic texture model are described and a digital filtering implementation of the resulting maximum likelihood texture discriminant is provided. The efficacy of this approach is demonstrated through experimental results obtained with simulated texture data. A comparison is provided with more conventional texture discriminants under identical conditions. The implications to texture discrimination in realworld imagery are discussed.