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A random spatial network model based on elementary postulates

January 1, 1989

A model for generating random spatial networks that is based on elementary postulates comparable to those of the random topology model is proposed. In contrast to the random topology model, this model ascribes a unique spatial specification to generated drainage networks, a distinguishing property of some network growth models. The simplicity of the postulates creates an opportunity for potential analytic investigations of the probabilistic structure of the drainage networks, while the spatial specification enables analyses of spatially dependent network properties. In the random topology model all drainage networks, conditioned on magnitude (number of first-order streams), are equally likely, whereas in this model all spanning trees of a grid, conditioned on area and drainage density, are equally likely. As a result, link lengths in the generated networks are not independent, as usually assumed in the random topology model. For a preliminary model evaluation, scale-dependent network characteristics, such as geometric diameter and link length properties, and topologic characteristics, such as bifurcation ratio, are computed for sets of drainage networks generated on square and rectangular grids. Statistics of the bifurcation and length ratios fall within the range of values reported for natural drainage networks, but geometric diameters tend to be relatively longer than those for natural networks.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1989
Title A random spatial network model based on elementary postulates
DOI 10.1029/WR025i005p00793
Authors Michael R. Karlinger, Brent M. Troutman
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Resources Research
Index ID 70015742
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse