The compression index is a one of the important soil parameters that is essential to geotechnical designs. As the determination of the compression index from consolidation tests is relatively time-consuming, empirical formulas based on soil parameters can be useful. Over the decades, a number of empirical formulas have been proposed to relate the compressibility to other soil parameters, such as the natural water content, liquid limit, plasticity index, specific gravity, and others. Each of the existing empirical formulas yields good results for a particular test set, but cannot accurately or reliably predict the compression index from various test sets. In this study, an alternative approach, an artificial neural network (ANN) model, is proposed to estimate the compression index with numerous consolidation test sets. The compression index was modeled as a function of seven variables including the natural water content, liquid limit, plastic index, specific gravity, and soil types. Nine hundred and forty-seven consolidation tests for soils sampled at 67 construction sites in the Republic of Korea were used for the training and testing of the ANN model. The predicted results showed that the neural network could provide a better performance than the empirical formulas. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.