We are happy to present the first volume of the Handbook of Defeasible Reasoning and Uncertainty Management Systems. Uncertainty pervades the real world and must therefore be addressed by every system that attempts to represent reality. The representation of uncertainty is a ma jor concern of philosophers, logicians, artificial intelligence researchers and com puter sciencists, psychologists, statisticians, economists and engineers. The present Handbook volumes provide frontline coverage of this area. This Handbook was produced in the style of previous handbook series like the Handbook of Philosoph ical Logic, the Handbook of Logic in Computer Science, the Handbook of Logic in Artificial Intelligence and Logic Programming, and can be seen as a companion to them in covering the wide applications of logic and reasoning. We hope it will answer the needs for adequate representations of uncertainty. This Handbook series grew out of the ESPRIT Basic Research Project DRUMS II, where the acronym is made out of the Handbook series title. This project was financially supported by the European Union and regroups 20 major European research teams working in the general domain of uncertainty. As a fringe benefit of the DRUMS project, the research community was able to create this Hand book series, relying on the DRUMS participants as the core of the authors for the Handbook together with external international experts.