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Describing a digital twin - seeking feedback


Peter El Hajj
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Thanks @Peter El Hajj
There was a comment on the Gemini Call today: 

"digital twins will never be a complete 'mimic' of the real world but will constantly evolve but will always be behind." 

Are there any comments to continue the discussion... 

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@Elvin Box also had two questions on this topic:

1. Should every company in the built environment have a Director responsible for their Digital Twin strategy, before the end of 2021?

2. Should Digital Twins always be in Beta?


 

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On 13/07/2021 at 13:05, Helena said:

Thanks @Peter El Hajj
There was a comment on the Gemini Call today: 

"digital twins will never be a complete 'mimic' of the real world but will constantly evolve but will always be behind." 

Are there any comments to continue the discussion... 

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe you don’t have the thinking face emoji :classic_mellow:

Can I caveat that? In terms of data.

In terms of intervention, it should be upfront. Is intervention a good word? Can we not use the digital twin to make the physical better?

On Intervention:

·       Types of use cases

·       Levels of control

·       Types of intervention tools

It’s like Star Trek, when Scottie manages to get the Enterprise to perform just that bit better than the specification. Digital Twin of the Enterprise anyone?…..”Computer?” :classic_smile:

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On 13/07/2021 at 18:03, Bola Abisogun OBE said:

A great introductory resource.

Thank you, @Bola Abisogun OBE. This is only the start and it would be great to get your feedback on it. 

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On 13/07/2021 at 14:26, Rich said:

In terms of intervention, it should be upfront. Is intervention a good word? Can we not use the digital twin to make the physical better?

Not sure I fully got the caveat.  Intervention is linked directly with better outcomes from the physical.

image.png

 

I agree we do need a thinking emoticon but there's the next best thing ...

Confused Thinking GIF 

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  • Peter El Hajj changed the title to Describing a digital twin - seeking feedback

:classic_laugh: Thanks for the reply Pete. I'am new to all of this.....so my view was Intervention comes from the Digital Twin, making the outcomes better for the Physical.

200.gif

Like NASA did with spirit and opportunity when they did get stuck in the martian landscape....although that was a Physical Digital Twin? 

Having a copy of that, so they could best work out how to solve an issue in that case, would that then mean technically the Physical Twin on earth was a head of the actual on Mars.

Data and Outcomes from the Physical dependant on what was viewed, would cause Intervention & Decisions from the Digital to the Physical. But until they were commitment and sent to the Physical in the form of maybe firmware update or code or information, the digital would be in front of the Physical...in a given Space and Time....I have been reading too much today :classic_huh::classic_laugh: 

image.thumb.png.083b224f4efcc9410a4bca60f7f11736.png

That Information & Process/Intervention & Decisions I guess as what it's called now, puts the Digital ahead of the Physical. I suppose what I am say is, can the Digital Twin influence the Physical and can we test the change "What ifs" on the Digital prior to making Intervention & Decisions on the Physical for better outcomes or doesn't it work like that? How do you know that Intervention will have positive outcomes for the Physical?

Rich

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  • 3 weeks later...

"intervention" 

in "city scale digital twins", which have until recently been the domain of "smart cities" discussions, the language is still settling down, but....

The ISO/IEC Smart Cities working group talks about "city models" ("appropriate set of data which models those physical and social aspects of the city that are relevant for
its objectives"). Sometimes those objectives are just to "follow" & sometimes they include to "influence" / change. Setting/agreeing those objectives - and hence the scope of the 'twin' is a social/governance question, with its own set of standards & approaches.

ISO/IEC 30146 Smart city ICT indicators gives a set of quality indicators for city models; in the current edition, these are focused on it being complete (for purpose), up to date, and used in operational / crisis / analytical / strategic business processes - deliberately echoing ISO 30182 Smart City concept model - Guidance for establishing a model for data interoperability (which is itself based on BSI PAS 182 with the same name, the result of work across some 80 UK local authorities).

I could envisage a sort of maturity level for city digital twins, 'starting' with those which try to keep up & working through to those which actively manage agreed aspects of the city.

30145-3 Smart City ICT reference framework - engineering framework considers sensors & actuators, where 'senses' sense the environment, and actuators change it (open / close flood gates, change traffic lights to influence traffic flow, adjust building heating controls).

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On 30/07/2021 at 09:37, Peter Parslow said:

I could envisage a sort of maturity level for city digital twins, 'starting' with those which try to keep up & working through to those which actively manage agreed aspects of the city.

Hi @Peter Parslow - thank you very much for the comments. I fully agree on your point earlier that the scope of a twin for a city is a social/governance question. I also extend that to say that a core part of the governance is the governance of information quality.

I would be interested in your thoughts on a city digital twin maturity model.  If I understood the quoted sentence correctly, the 'maturity model' is linked to the maturity of organisations within the city to manage digital twins; this might include defining/managing/assuring/optimising digital twins and the links to the physical world.  This makes sense. Going further it might be fair to assume that the maturity of a city in managing digital twins is the same as the maturity the organisation in this city with the lowest maturity (bad data lowers the standards for everyone).

One motive for developing the diagram shared in this thread (https://digital-twins.kumu.io/describing-digital-twins) is that digital twins themselves should be described on a spectrum of complexity dependent on the purpose of the twin which would determine how many parts and links the twin needs.  This diagram is mentally built on the idea of an organisation's maturity (for information management for example) determines what complexity of digital twins it can support and manage efficiently.  And from that angle I feel that it links well to [my] understanding of you sentence which I could have misunderstood!  Have I missed your point? 

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On 14/07/2021 at 17:16, Rich said:

That Information & Process/Intervention & Decisions I guess as what it's called now, puts the Digital ahead of the Physical. I suppose what I am say is, can the Digital Twin influence the Physical and can we test the change "What ifs" on the Digital prior to making Intervention & Decisions on the Physical for better outcomes or doesn't it work like that? How do you know that Intervention will have positive outcomes for the Physical?

Hi @Rich - I think testing "what ifs" scenarios is the prime feature or use case of digital twins. The scenarios could be to intervene on the physical (preventative maintenance schedule) or to prepare for an event in the future (responses to components failure or disaster on infrastructure systems). 

I think the main way to know if the intervention is having the intended outcome is build in all digital twins a feedback loop.  Depending on the scale of the DT (component, system, system-of-systems) the feedback loop (data input) might look very different and is captured differently.  It would be practically easier to assess the performance of a maintenance regime on components of a train,  then to determine if the extension of a new road has improved the productivity and social outcomes for a city (but this is very important).

Federation and enabling  digital twins interoperability is key, and I think this point on checking if the DT delivered better outcomes emphasises this as feedback data might not come from the same digital twin that did the intervention, but from a different digital twin owned by a different organisation.

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