In this study, seven classifiers based on four different approaches were tested in a rock facies classification problem: classical parametric methods using Bayes' rule, and non-parametric methods using fuzzy logic, k-nearest neighbor, and feed forward-back propagating artificial neural network. Determining the most effective classifier for geologic facies prediction in wells without cores in the Panoma gas field, in Southwest Kansas, was the objective. Study data include 3600 samples with known rock facies class (from core) with each sample having either four or five measured properties (wire-line log curves), and two derived geologic properties (geologic constraining variables). The sample set was divided into two subsets, one for training and one for testing the ability of the trained classifier to correctly assign classes. Artificial neural networks clearly outperformed all other classifiers and are effective tools for this particular classification problem. Classical parametric models were inadequate due to the nature of the predictor variables (high dimensional and not linearly correlated), and feature space of the classes (overlapping). The other non-parametric methods tested, k-nearest neighbor and fuzzy logic, would need considerable improvement to match the neural network effectiveness, but further work, possibly combining certain aspects of the three non-parametric methods, may be justified. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.