The drainage pattern of a river network is the arrangement in which a stream erodes the channels of its network of tributaries. It can reflect the geographical characteristics of a river network to a certain extent because it depends on the topography and geology of the land and as such should be considered during the river network generalization process. There are many methods for river network generalization in tributary selection but most do not explicitly consider the network pattern. Validation of the generalized result is performed visually by an expert and may not be done systematically. An automatic validation technique may help to better understand the results obtained with each method and check whether the pattern has been preserved. This paper proposes an approach to evaluate the quality of a generalized river network by assessing how well its original drainage pattern is preserved. The membership to a drainage pattern is evaluated by a set of geometric indicators, making use of a fuzzy logic approach which allows for a compromise between different criteria depending on the membership values. Three tributary selection methods are tested in this work: selection by stroke and length, catchment area, and a manually generalized network. Assessing the quality of a generalization is done by comparing pattern memberships before and after generalization. This research provides a quantitative indicator to assess the generalized river network in preserving geographical information.
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