β-secretase (BACE1) is an aspartyl protease, which is considered as a novel vital target in Alzheimer's disease therapy. We collected a data set of 294 BACE1 inhibitors, and built six classification models to discriminate active and weakly active inhibitors using Kohonen’s Self-Organizing Map (SOM) method and Support Vector Machine (SVM) method. Each molecular descriptor was calculated using the program ADRIANA.Code. We adopted two different methods: random method and Self-Organizing Map method, for training/test set split. The descriptors were selected by F-score and stepwise linear regression analysis. The best SVM model Model2C has a good prediction performance on test set with prediction accuracy, sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP) and Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) of 89.02%, 90%, 88%, 0.78, respectively. Model 1A is the best SOM model, whose accuracy and MCC of the test set were 94.57% and 0.98, respectively. The lone pair electronegativity and polarizability related descriptors importantly contributed to bioactivity of BACE1 inhibitor. The Extended-Connectivity Finger-Prints_4 (ECFP_4) analysis found some vitally key substructural features, which could be helpful for further drug design research. The SOM and SVM models built in this study can be obtained from the authors by email or other contacts.