Predicting tunnel boring machine (TBM) performance is a crucial issue for the accomplishment of a mechanical tunnel project, excavating via full face tunneling machine. Many models and equations have previously been introduced to estimate TBM performance based on properties of both rock and machine employing various statistical analysis techniques. However, considering the nature of the problem, it is relatively difficult to estimate tunnel boring machine performance by linear prediction models. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) and non-linear multiple regression models have great potential for establishing such prediction models. The purpose of the present study is the construction of non-linear multivariable prediction models to estimate TBM performance as a function of rock properties. For this purpose, rock properties and machine data were collected from recently completed TBM tunnel project in the City of New York, USA and consequently the database was established to develop performance prediction models utilizing the ANN and the non-linear multiple regression methods. This paper presents the results of study into the application of the non-linear prediction approaches providing the acceptable precise performance estimations. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.