To further expand the application of an artificial neural network in the field of neutron spectrometry, the criteria for choosing between an artificial neural network and the maximum entropy method for the purpose of unfolding neutron spectra was presented. The counts of the Bonner spheres for IAEA neutron spectra were used as a database, and the artificial neural network and the maximum entropy method were used to unfold neutron spectra; the mean squares of the spectra were defined as the differences between the desired and unfolded spectra. After the information entropy of each spectrum was calculated using information entropy theory, the relationship between the mean squares of the spectra and the information entropy was acquired. Useful information from the information entropy guided the selection of unfolding methods. Due to the importance of the information entropy, the method for predicting the information entropy using the Bonner spheres' counts was established. The criteria based on the information entropy theory can be used to choose between the artificial neural network and the maximum entropy method unfolding methods. The application of an artificial neural network to unfold neutron spectra was expanded. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.