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Based on a local spatial/frequency representation,we employ a spectral histogram as a feature statistic for texture classification. The spectral histogram consists of marginal distributions of responses of a bank of filters and encodes implicitly the local structure of images through the filtering stage and the global appearance through the histogram stage. The distance between two spectral histograms is measured using χ2-statistic. The spectral histogram with the associated distance measure exhibits several properties that are necessary for texture classification. A filter selection algorithm is proposed to maximize classification performance of a given dataset. Our classification experiments using natural texture images reveal that the spectral histogram representation provides a robust feature statistic for textures and generalizes well. Comparisons show that our method produces a marked improvement in classification performance. Finally we point out the relationships between existing texture features and the spectral histogram, suggesting that the latter may provide a unified texture feature.