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As the National Digital Twin (NDT) programme develops its thinking around the Commons, several resources to support the implementation of digital twins within the built environment will be developed.  The first of which, the Glossary, is readily available for members to engage with.  Further resources will likely include ontologies, schema and other key data infrastructure elements required to enable the NDT. 

To ensure that these resources are fit-for-purpose, they need to align to the needs of the DT Hub members; supporting use cases.  As such, this article uses the output of the Theme 3 webinar to explore and begin to identify horizontal, high-value, use cases for prioritization.   

The outcome of this work will be a community-driven document (draft under development here) to inform the Commons on which use cases should be considered a priority when developing resources. 

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During the Theme 3 webinar, a total of 28 use cases were identified by members. 

Open Sharing of Data 

Data-sharing Hub 

Health and Safety 

Social Distancing 

Customer Satisfaction 

Behavioural Change 

National Security 

Traffic Management 

Incident Management 

Efficiency Monitoring 

Condition Monitoring 

Scenario Simulations 

Rapid Prototyping 

Asset Optimization 

Investment Optimization 

Preventative Maintenance 

Carbon Management 

Service Recovery 

Decision Support 

National Efficiency 

‘Live’ in-use Information 

Logistic / Transit Tracing 

Natural Environment Registration 

Pollution Monitoring 

Air Quality Monitoring 

 

Resilience Planning 

Resource Optimization 

Service Electrification 

 

This initial schedule demonstrates the breadth of value that a digital twin can facilitate.  However this list can be refined as some of these use cases: 

  • Overlap and can be consolidated through the use of more careful terminology.  For example both Pollution Monitoring and Air Quality Monitoring were identified.  However it is likely that the system, sequence of actions, as well as any associated key performance indicators will be shared between these use cases.  Therefore they could be consolidated under a single use case Environmental Monitoring. 
     
  • May be specific to some members or some sectors.  For example, Customer Satisfaction Monitoring is a vital use case for DT Hub members who directly engage with a user-base within a supplier market (for example, utility companies and universities).  However, many organizations manage assets and systems whose actors do not include a customer (for example, floor defence systems, and natural assets) Likewise, Service Electrification is a use case that is only applicable for assets and systems which rely on fossil fuels (for roads and railways).  As such, while Customer Satisfaction Monitoring and Service Electrification are vital use cases which must remain within scope of the overall programme, they may not be appropriate for prioritization. 
     
  • Are aspects as opposed to a stand-alone use case.  For example, ‘Live’ In-use Information may be a requirement of several use cases such as Traffic Management and National Security but does not in itself constitute a sequence of actions within a system. 

By identifying the use cases that are most common to DT Hub members as well as eliminating duplicates, it is hoped that a refined schedule can be produced; limited to high-value, horizontal use cases.  Such a schedule will be valuable to: 

  • The NDT programme to understand what use cases the IMF Pathway will need to support; 
  • Asset owner/operators to identify and articulate the value-case for implementing digital twins; and 
  • Suppliers to demonstrate the validity of their software in realizing these values. 

Furthermore, once a streamlined schedule has been developed, further research can be undertaken to identify the typical key performance indicators used to measure and monitor systems that support these use cases. 

 

And there we have it, useful use cases.  Of the 28 use cases identified which do you think are the most horizontal? Which do you think are high-value (priority) use cases? Which do you think could be aggregated together? 

Please feel free to add your thoughts below, or, alternatively, comment directly on the draft community-driven document which will be progressively developed as member views are shared.  Feel free to comment on the content included and suggest how to refine the schedule. 

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