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What do you think of our Draft Digital Twin Policy?

Ian Gordon

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SOmething that jumps out for me on the first page...

"A Digital Twin is a digital representation of a physical thing (and the logic of its operation) that one can query"

You could extend with "...and exert control" as I assume remote control would be a longer term objective?  If nothing else software-based devices and equipment will require periodic software updates.

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On your third key difference (P.5), you are absolutely right, the connections become so important.  Also, it's not just the built asset that needs to be represented: it must include the taxonomical representation of safety, operational and environmental risks and how they interact with the built environment.  In the Common Information Model we have been building for Intelligent Infrastructure programme at Network Rail we have included provision for modelling how these types of influence generically apply to classes of asset and how they may influence individual assets over time to alter asset performance and capability.

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On 25/05/2021 at 12:38, Simon Innovate UK said:

Hi Ian,

Have you linked up to the TIET working group on this?

Never heard of it... tell me more?

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  • 1 month later...


An excellent piece of work, thanks for sharing. It will be very helpful to others such as myself trying to develop DT guidance and standards in parallel sectors - water in my case. I havent read the whole document yet - I have looked at diagrams mainly, so apologies if my comments are explained in the document body.

I was pleased to see regular reference to ontology and semantics and the way you're managing both. Fig 2 is an excellent overview of the architecture, especially the separate identity of Asset Twins (AsT), Operational (OpT) and Organisational Twins (OrgT), this is a very helpful distinction, especially to my colleague trying to force BIM into the OpT space.

My question is regarding Sensors(IOT) and why they dont go through a similar schema/ontology layer as other data sources. Its clearly a new field (10yrs?) and standards are long overdue for comms protocols, semantic profiles of devices and especially device lifecycle management. The Table below Fig2 rightly identifes "the (low) marginal cost of sensors does not yet make it cost-effective to deploy them ubiquitously". On the contrary, it's the low marginal cost and high marginal value which enables them to be deplopyed ubiquously, if the right standards are in place to maintain lifecycle metadata! I have concluded that the oneM2M and ETSI standards are the most fully developed with global support and resources for further development and management. I have joined the CIM WG as domain expert for water and am working on datamodels extending the SAREF ontology. It would be great to engage similar UK expertise on highways. 

The table also refers to alignment of HE ontology with FDM, yet much of your ontology exists today. Have you done any work to map the FDM top-level ontology shortlist with HE model?

I like the recognition of important links to Corporate Knowledge sharing in polocy statements. Have you done any quantification of the business value derived from ontology development? I have a number of similar value of better quality of data questions and hope we might be able to setup a call to discuss.

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