Many debris flow spreading analyses have been conducted during recent decades to prevent damage from debris flows. An empirical approach that has been used in various studies on debris flow spreading has advantages such as simple data acquisition and good applicability for large areas. In this study, a GIS-based empirical model that was developed at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) is used to assess the debris flow susceptibility. Study sites are classified based on the types of soil texture or geological conditions, which can indirectly consider geotechnical or rheological properties, to supplement the weaknesses of Flow-R which neglects local controlling factors. The mean travel angle for each classification is calculated from a debris flow inventory map. The debris flow susceptibility is assessed based on changes in the flow-direction algorithm, an inertial function with a 5-m DEM resolution. A simplified friction-limited model was applied to the runout distance analysis by using the appropriate travel angle for the corresponding classification with a velocity limit of 28 m/s. The most appropriate algorithm combinations that derived the highest average of efficiency and sensitivity for each classification are finally determined by applying a confusion matrix with the efficiency and the sensitivity to the results of the susceptibility assessment. The proposed schemes can be useful for debris flow susceptibility assessment in both the study area and the central region of Korea, which has similar environmental factors such as geological conditions, topography and rainfall characteristics to the study area. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.