This paper presents a robust artificial neural network technique to assess the on-line dynamic stability of power system. Efforts have been made to minimize the error in dynamic stability assessment by optimising the size and introducing more sensitive information in training vector. The problem has been attempted with Kohonen's self-organising feature map (SOFM) to classify the states of power system. The main reason which inspired the authors to apply Kohonen's SOFM technique is to avoid local minima that saturate the learning process in back-propagation algorithm. Conventional QR algrithm in conjunction with S-matrix method is used to allocate dynamic stability indices to output neurons. © 1996 Taylor & Francis.