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  1. I came across an EU funded project "xr4all" which provides a development environment(among other things) for XR projects. The details are here: https://dev.xr4all.eu Will it be possible for the NDT programme to provide similar platform for DT community in the UK? It will help in fostering rapid collaboration and development of the DT ecosystem. Thanks and kind regards, Ajeeth
  2. During Tuesday’s Gemini call, the above was raised to help promote awareness of the CDBB Digital Twin programme with developers and the alike. This struck me as a pretty good idea.. So based on the Gemini Principles and my understanding of the IMF pathways document, the below is a draft suggestion for the pot, to provoke the thoughts and ideas of the community: The IMF is rooted in the Gemini Principles; a collaborative top-down approach, driven by bottom-up integrated processes, embracing holistic systems thinking and pragmatic ontology, enabled by secured digital platforms, to derive better delivery and asset lifecycle outcomes. Its key value proposition is that it enables the story of an asset, infrastructure system or system of systems, registering its trigger events and the evidence-, risk-based decisions-making, from cradle-to-grave, the digital golden thread generating future benefits.
  3. David McK

    The value of, and from, Data

    For me, Digital Twins are for acquiring, maintaining and exploiting Data - as a means to an end. We need to shift the typical focus of many organisations away from technology and "IT" towards understanding this perspective. I think the real value comes from thinking about Data Flows and not just the Data (store / Lake / whatever). This is my perspective also in the context of Asset Management. I am not associated with Anmut, but I recommend this well-written Report. (They have collaborated with Highways England to do some extremely exciting and useful work re Gemini.) https://anmut.co.uk/insights/ https://www.linkedin.com/posts/guyjdavis96_data-research-datavalue-activity-6739116308098514944-l4Vo
  4. As part of my last post Consolidating Concepts: Scope, I discussed a potential structure that a concepts and principles standard related to digital twin could adopt. In this post, I’ll consider how this structure aligns to the Gemini Principles. I’d greatly appreciate your views as to whether I’ve gotten this right! Using ISO/DIS 23247-1 (Digital Twin framework for manufacturing. Part 1. Overview and general principles) as a basis, I presented the following structure, now modified to include standard clause numbering: Scope Normative References Terms and Definitions Overview of Digital Twin for the Built Environment Concept of the Digital Twin Digital Twin for the Built Environment Applications (Uses) of Digital Twin for the Built Environment Benefits of Digital Twin for the Built Environment Observable Built Environment Elements General Principles of the Digital Twin Framework for the Built Environment Overview Standardization Scope of the Digital Twin Framework for the Built Environment Requirements of the Digital Twin for the Built Environment Hierarchical modelling of Digital Twin for the Built Environment Considering the topics to be covered, a lot of good reference information is available within the Gemini Principles, the values set out by CDBB to aid the development of a National Digital Twin (NDT). Pages 10 include definitions (3) as well distinguishing features of a digital twin (4.1); Page 11 also includes several purposes which could form the basis of (4.3); Pages 12-13 focus on the national digital twin application (4.3) as well as list several benefits (4.4); Pages 16 outline the nine principles at high level (5.1); and Pages 17-23 begin to establish the requirements of these principles (5.3). However, it is clear to see that the Gemini Principles does not cover all of these topics. For example, it does not include any information about what elements a built environment digital twin may wish to observe/monitor (4.5), cover the standardization scope (5.2) or deal with the hierarchical modelling (5.4). In which case, where can we find this information? For example, reports such as Flourishing Systems discuss different levels of aggregation: Component, System, and System of Systems. Could this form the basis of our Hierarchical modelling? I wonder what other good information could also be extracted from Flourishing Systems… And there we have it, the Gemini Principles appear to be an ideal basis for the production of such a standard. Reading this: Have I correctly interpreted the content of the Gemini Principles? What other documents could also support the production of such a standard? Please let me know in the comments as we consolidate the communities’ views around what concepts and principles are important to capture before the webinar on the 11th February at 10:00. Join us as we delve deeper into a formalised set of concepts and principles for digital twins in the built environment.
  5. With just over 2 years since the Gemini Principles (TheGeminiPrinciples.pdf) were published what are your thoughts? Aspirational, Feasible, Tangible or Down Right Wrong.
  6. Morning All, Currently investigating a case for a Digital Twin concept - is there any guidance relating to the structure of the data to align up to a more national structure? Any useful guidance to help the beginnings of this case move in the right direction? Thanks, Lewis
  7. Predicting the future is something intrinsic to the human condition. Whether we are thinking about lunch, retirement, or developing a world-shaking invention like the iPhone. What if the biggest barrier to realising the potential of innovation is not technology, but belief? Predictions of the future from the 1950s included people flying around in their own helicopters to do their daily chores. Ignoring the acceptability of helicopters powering up and blowing the contents of everyone’s gardens everywhere, this future could have happened. There is no technological boundary to everyone having a helicopter in their garden or on the street. However, it was believed correctly that flying machines are extremely dangerous and that their ownership and piloting should be rigorously controlled. That then, is why that idea never took off. It may be tempting to scoff at this suggestion entirely, but there are now several places only accessible by plane and even a housing estate in Florida where every resident owns a plane as their primary means of transportation. If you would like your own home with an attached hanger, check them out here. The motor vehicle faced very similar push back from the populace and the media when they were introduced. They were smelly, loud and dangerous, not to mention costly. However, once the car had been accepted as an ordinary part of everyday life, the risk increased as they became faster. Cars were now so intrinsically embedded in our society that the idea of removing them had become unconscionable. Digital twins will undergo the same process of becoming publicly acceptable as the question of risk continues to arise. The idea of a building or a motorway self-managing might seem like a stretch to the layperson, but this has already begun with Building Management Systems and Smart Motorways. It is important that we acknowledge the ability of these systems to fail and make sure that we have integrated fail safes that perform the equivalent role of airbags in cars. Similarly, the idea of the smartphone underwent a similar process of becoming acceptable to the general public not so long ago. They were already present in our society when the iPhone was released, but it was the iPhone that made the concept of the smartphone mainstream. Was it that the technology was superior? In part perhaps. What really made the difference was that Apple sold us a lifestyle choice. That narrative around the iPhone, its versatility thanks to the app store and its good looks were what really made the difference. The technology already existed, but it had never been brought together effectively as a whole product. The app store enabled owners to customise their experience and created a platform for services that today is worth billions of dollars. The Digital Twin is to the Internet of Things what the iPhone was to the smartphone. The concept of connecting things to the internet makes sense and smart speakers and smart devices have had some success. However, the concept of the internet of things is nebulous at its core. Its story raises questions, we connect things to the internet. That’s it. It’s up to the developers of technology to take that idea and turn it into real products. You cannot procure an internet of things; you cannot own one. A digital twin however is procurable. It is also neatly definable to the layperson. You have a physical asset and a digital representation of that asset; these twins communicate with each other so that you can manage your assets more effectively. You can see the digital twin, make changes to it and they happen in the physical twin. This simplicity of narrative is exactly what sold the first iPhone. Your email, music, calls and the internet are all in one place. It’s a very simple idea to communicate despite it being a very complex product. If you compare this sales pitch with the O2 XDA, the rival smartphone at the time, you see a focus on technical specifications. The advert did not answer how this product will make your life easier or better, instead it focused on power and speed, which for an enthusiast (such as myself, who owned an O2 XDA) is very enticing, but for the wider population made little or no headway. It is the narrative of the Digital Twin and the National Digital Twin that makes the difference, having prepared the groundwork for public acceptability with the Gemini principles of purpose, trust and function we have learnt the lessons of the past when adopting an innovation so that we do not need to sacrifice the individual’s rights and safety for the general public good as we did for cars. Similarly, with the story of the National Digital Twin we have learnt the lesson of the iPhone, that innovation must be tailored to people’s lifestyles, that is not simply a technology for the sake of it, but something that will enhance our lives in an easily understandable way. We have a challenge then, if the brand is as important as the technology, how do you think Digital Twins should be marketed? What should be the story we tell?
  8. I've been drafting a Digital Twin Policy for HE and would appreciate any feedback. Some of it is quite HE-specific, but I'm hoping that the broader structure and themes is accessible to non-HE people. What do you think? [Very very draft] Highways England Digital Twin Policy Purpose of this document: Definition: To agree a working definition of Digital Twin for Highways England, and provide some context on the National Digital Twin programme. Principles: To establish a consistent and generally accepted set of principles for the creation and use of Digital Twins by Highways England and associated supply chain projects, and align these to the Information Principles described in our Information Vision & Strategy. Architecture: To describe the common data and technology underpinnings of Digital Twin development within Highways England, including infrastructure, integration, and interfaces, aligned with National Digital Twin programme's Information Management Framework. Capability: To highlight the skills we require as an organisation in order to be an informed client and custodian of Digital Twins. Ethics: To set guidelines around the ethical implications of using Digital Twins to manage the Strategic Road Network. Governance: To document how we will govern Digital Twins within Highways England as a collaborative body of practice, as well as how we will quantify and capture the benefits of investment in Digital Twins. This document should be read as contributing to the realisation of Highways England's Information Vision and Strategy and abide by our Information Management System. CDBB imagery showing the digital representation of physical assets. Section 1: Definition and context Our definition of a Digital Twin is as follows: A Digital Twin is a digital representation of a physical thing (and its operation) that one can query. This definition helps us to distinguish between the concept of a Digital Twin, and the more established practice of BIM. The key differences are: Digital Twins can and should be part of the construction phase, but the focus of their use is on the operation of existing physical assets (e.g. the 99%+ of assets that are not currently under construction). Within our organisation (and the wider industry), there is often a loss of data capability as projects move from construction to operations as operators have typically been unable to exploit BIM products. By designing our construction models as nascent Digital Twins we have the opportunity to define the data and logic required to operate an asset at the start of the lifecycle, and ensure that the models we create during construction have operational value. The emphasis on being able to query Digital Twins is important. A Digital Twin should not be a static representation of an asset, it should reflect the logic of that asset in operation. This means that Digital Twins need to expose not just the material properties of an asset (e.g. location, dimensions, materials, etc.) but also the business logic governing that asset (e.g. how we as the infrastructure owner can intervene on that asset to change how it performs). This allows Digital Twins to enable better organisational decision-making through simulation and 'what if' scenarios. In order to realise the two points above, the data schema underpinning Digital Twins is necessarily more complex, and more focused on relationships rather than properties. BIM data standards, such as COBie or Uniclass focus on the hierarchies of assets, and their properties (e.g. "span belongs to bridge and is made of steel"). Emergent Digital Twin data models (including our own Highways England Ontology) capture not just the properties of assets but how the relate to their wider environmental and operational context (e.g. "span is corroded by road salts, damaged by vehicle incursions, is maintained when the flange has 20%+ corrosion, and supports a flow of 50,000 vehicles per day travelling on the M25 (as well as a broadband internet cable) causing significant safety and KPI impact in the event of failure"). Creating these data models demands the creation and maintenance of a deep 'knowledge graph' of the organisation. Imagery courtesy of the CDBB. They emphasise that new assets should be view as interventions on the wider existing system. In the UK, construction annually adds only circa 0.5% by value to infrastructure as a whole. The quality of the services delivered to the economy, environment and society is determined by the 99.5% of infrastructure that already exists. Construction of new assets is important but to make a significant difference to service quality, value, and outcomes for people the focus should be on the infrastructure that already exists. CDBB believe that viewing and operating our infrastructure as a system of systems will deliver better outcomes for citizens, the Information Management Framework will help enable improved secure, resilient data sharing across the built environment to make sure the better information gets in the right hands, at the right time, to make the better decision. Where possible we seek to align with, and contribute to, the Centre for Built Britain's National Digital Twin programme. More information is available on the CDBB's website and we would also encourage staff to join the Digital Twin Hub. If you are new to the concepts behind the Digital Twin and the National Digital Twin programme, we would recommend reading their publication 'The approach to delivering a National Digital Twin for the United Kingdom'. The NDT's Gemini Principles Section 2: Principles Digital Twins are ultimately an extension of data and information. As such, we believe that the principles set out in our Information Vision & Strategy are applicable to our development of Digital Twins (albeit with the need for a subject matter specific interpretation). ID Information Vision & Strategy principles Digital Twin interpretation Relevant Gemini principle(s) 1 We will use information as best we can, even if it's not perfect. "We will use Digital Twins as best we can, even if it's not perfect." Our digital infrastructure is a work in progress. As such, we will design and develop a shared set of principles, architecture, governance, and capability that allows us to incrementally develop Digital Twins over the coming investment cycles. This means building upon and evolving our existing in-house digital infrastructure, avoiding creating undue reliance on proprietary solutions, and carefully managing the benefits case associated with investment. Public good Value creation 2 We will create the trust people have in our information by assuring its fitness for purpose. "We will create trust in our Digital Twins by assuring their fitness for purpose." We will ensure that the data that informs (or is presented in) our Digital Twins is subject to our Information Management System. We will assess the condition of data and its fitness-for-purpose so that health-warnings/uncertainties can be applied to the outputs of our Digital Twins (where necessary), and identify remediation activities where necessary. Quality 3 Information can affect people's lives and we will use it transparently and ethically. "Digital Twins can affect people's lives, and we will use them transparently and ethically." As a public body, we shouldn't use Digital Twins in any manner that we would not be comfortable being public knowledge. Where possible we should seek to openly publish our approach to Digital Twins, including this policy document. This demands a detailed consideration of the ethics of our use of Digital Twins, as well as their potential for bias, which is covered later in this document. Public good Openness 4 We need to understand how the information we collect is used by others to make sure it is good enough for everyone. "We need to understand how the outputs of our Digital Twins are used by others, to ensure that they are fit for purpose." We understand that Digital Twins are only as good as the data and logic that go into them. Where staff or organisations are using Digital Twins to support decision making then we must be aware of the sensitivity of these decisions. We must then confirm that the data and logic used by the Digital Twin can provide sufficient accuracy to safely inform those decisions. Quality 5 We must continually earn the right to look after our customers data. "Our Digital Twins should not directly or indirectly provide information on individuals or small groups of people." The movement of our customers on the road network, and potentially related networks such as rail, will likely be a key data input to Digital Twins. However, clear limitations and governance must be placed upon how customer data is used within Digital Twins, including aggregation, anonymisation, and clear rules to avoid 'toxic combinations'. Security 6 Information is a valuable resource that will be kept safe and secure from accidents and attacks. "Our Digital Twins must not materially increase our risk of data breach or loss of customer data." Digital Twins require substantial quantities of information in order to work effectively. Any centralised storage of information on this scale will increase the risk of data loss, and whilst this risk can never be fully mitigated, we must take steps to ensure that we are securing our data storage infrastructure in accordance with best practice. Security 7 Looking after information has a cost we should understand and account for. "We will be aware of the on-going cost of maintaining our Digital Twins." As per the previous point, even using public cloud resources there will be a substantial on-going cost for the storage and computation (not to mentioned resource) associated with running our Digital Twins. In addition, there is always an opportunity cost associated with expenditure, and we should seek to ensure that we are delivering a return on taxpayer's funding. Curation 8 We all have a responsibility to look after our information so that it is fit for purpose. "We will build our Digital Twins with clear data and logic ownership and stewardship responsibilities." The component parts of the Digital Twin, including data and logic (algorithms) must have clearly defined owners, lineage, and steward roles to ensure that they remain fit-for-purpose. Quality Curation 9 Decisions made with information create better outcomes for our customers, stakeholders and ourselves. "We will tie our use of Digital Twins to clearly defined outcomes for our customers, stakeholders and ourselves." Digital Twins cannot simply be 'shiny things'. As part of the Governance described in this policy we will be clear on the benefits case associated with our investment in Digital Twins, and the outcomes that we are seeking to deliver. Insight 10 The value of information is only realised when it's used to help make decisions. "The value of Digital Twins is only realised when they are used to help make decisions." This is probably the most important principle. We will use Digital Twins to affect a positive (and cost-effective) change on how we build, operate, and maintain our network. All development of Digital Twins must be able to demonstrate how it will contribute to this goal. Insight Section 3: Architecture The use of Digital Twins will likely vary substantially across our business. Different teams will work at different stages of the asset lifecycle (e.g. plan, design, build, operate/maintain, dispose), and consequently their teams will have different skillsets, ways of working, and levels of supplier involvement. This does not, however, mean that our use of Digital Twins across the business must be disconnected and siloed. If we end up with a number of standalone Digital Twins then we are likely to miss the greater benefit of understand how our infrastructure behaves throughout the lifecycle. We believe in a 'federated' model, one where parts of the business can design and develop Digital Twins to meet there use cases, but which ensures adherence to common standards described in this policy. The diagram below describes, at exceptionally high level, the common 'schema' and 'data' layers that we should seek to create to support our federated Digital Twins in the application layer. Key to this architecture is the use of open platforms wherever possible, whether those are open data standards, open source tools, or solutions shared with other Digital Twin owners. We want to avoid Digital Twins within Highways England becoming entirely dependent upon proprietary solutions and walled gardens, and we believe that there are lessons to be learned from the successes and failures of BIM in this respect. Ultimately we want to own our own destiny in this space, and build capability within Highways England. Indicative components of the Highways England federated Digital Twin Image web part, showing Indicative components of the Highways England federated Digital Twin. WThis architecture will build upon existing and proposed corporate services that will be accessible to the organisation and its supply chain, as per the table below. Component Current Position End State Position Schema (structure) Our Corporate Ontology provides a logical map of our organisation from a data perspective. Our Data Modelling standards provide guidance as to what artefacts should be created to document new systems (including Digital Twins). We will continue to develop our Corporate Ontology as we create Digital Twins, with a focus on increasing boths its completeness, and the ease with which Highways England staff can view, edit, and use the Ontology to keep it up-to-date and to inform the design of Digital Twins. We will work to align our Corporate Ontology with data standards specified under the NDT's Information Management Framework and adopt all or part of their Foundational Data Model once this becomes available. Data Storage (inc. Graph) Our Azure-based common data environment, Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), provides a corporate approach to storing and sharing information within Highways England. We will expand DaaS to incorporate a graph database built to reflect the schema set out in our Corporate Ontology, and populated with datasets relevant to our Digital Twins. Data Exchange (inc. API) Our intention is to extend the functionality of DaaS to include for an 'HE API', as well as Master Data Management functionality to deliver a 'single source of truth' of data drawn from systems of record across the organisation. Highways England will publish data externally through a common set of documented open data feeds managed as a single holistic service (e.g. the 'HE API'). These data feeds will reflect the underlying structure of data specified in our Corporate Ontology and data models. IoT / Sensors Our intention is to extend the functionality of DaaS to handle real time 'event' data. This will allow DaaS to serve information from sensors into Digital Twins. Though in practice is it also possible that sensors will report directly into Digital Twins and then subsequently share that data with DaaS for wider distribution. The risk we face with the adoption of IoT is that, to date at least, it has been extremely piecemeal. This is in part because, in many cases, the marginal cost of sensors does not yet make it cost-effective to deploy them ubiquitously. Often our IoT data doesn't even make it on to the HE IT estate. We are going to come to a point where centralised management of data from IoT becomes substantially more important for us an organisation in order to avoid different departments and Digital Twins needing to make duplicate investments. Some evolution of our common data environment will need to accommodate this change. Our corporate approach to data modelling and creating a common data environment underpins our federated approach to Digital Twins within Highways England. More information on our corporate solution, and how it is available to build digital solutions within Highways England, is available on our Data-as-a-Service SharePoint page. We will work to understand the division of responsibility, and necessary interconnections, between Data-as-a-Service and other Digital Twin and data management solutions including HEADDS and BIF. Diagrammatic representation of current data collation within Highways England Image web part, showing Diagrammatic representation of current data collation within Highways England. Section 4: Capability The capability that our Digital Twins provide us as an organisation should stem logically from our definition of a Digital Twin as "a digital representation of a physical thing (and its operation) that one can query." We should look for our Digital Twins to provide us with capabilities beyond what can be realised by existing BIM systems and other digital technologies. There are (at least) two dimensions to the capability that Digital Twins will provide us, breadth (e.g. the proportion of our portfolio of assets that is represented by a Digital Twin), and depth (e.g. the range of queries that it is possible for us to conduct using those Digital Twins). The question of breadth is a relatively simple one of scale, which hopefully deploying our Digital Twins cost-effectively on scalable public cloud solutions will help realise. The question of depth is much more interesting as it relates to the functionality of the Digital Twins we build, and the use cases that we want to realise. Our aim is for Digital Twins to provide us with a range of functionality, including: The ability to run 'what if' scenarios to understand the consequences of changes to how we manage our network. These scenarios should be able to consider a range of parameters including the performance of assets, the configuration of the network, maintenance policy, traffic management, and the impact of external factors including levels of customer demand, weather, incidents, and disruption to other transport and utility services. Exchange of information with other organisations, including other road operators and stakeholders (e.g. Local authorities, Transport Scotland, Transport for Wales, emergency services), transport operations (e.g. Network Rail, TfL, HS2, HAL, MAG) and utility operators (e.g. UKPN, National Grid, water companies). Highlighting inter-dependencies with other organisations, we know that our infrastructure is crucial to other organisations working effectively, whether it's the transport of crucial supplies, providing a route for maintenance teams to get to asset failures on other networks, or in some cases literally supporting 3rd party cables and pipes with our structures. Our Digital Twin will understand these inter-dependencies and highlight potential choke-points. Mapping of assets to outcomes, in other words how do individual assets on our network contribute (or not) to the overall performance of the network itself. We have all seen instances where the failure of individual, relatively insignificant assets can result in substantial disruption to how the network as a whole operates. As an organisation we should be aware of these potential choke-points, not only in terms of how they effect our business, but also in terms of how they impact our stakeholder's goals. Mapping of organisational workflows to outcomes, in other words how do our organisation's decision-making processes and operating model influence and potentially change the real world outcomes. Presenting a time-series view of the organisation, for all of the functionality listed above we should be able to see change over time, both looking back into the past, and projecting into the future. Whilst we continue to develop our Digital Twins to deliver this functionality we need to be mindful of the training and staff capabilities that we need to build within the business, who should be accountable within the business for owning them, and what we should be looking to procure through our supply chain. Key roles will likely include: Data owner; Data steward; Product owner; Platform developer; Software developer; UI/UX developer; Technical project manager; Business analyst; Data analyst; Data scientist; Data architecture; Technical SME; Benefits manager. Consequently, any development of a Digital Twin within Highways England must include for a consideration of the resources required to maintain, administer, and continuously improve the Digital Twin throughout its lifecycle. This will need to consider and engage on the appropriate division of responsibility between HE Directorates, ITD, and the supply chain. Section 5: Ethics Digital Twins of our infrastructure are a potentially transformative technology that will change how we interact with, and manage, our built environment. Consequently, it is worth our considering the ethics of when and how we develop Digital Twins so as to control for unintended or biased outcomes. In many ways, the conversation around ethics of Digital Twins is an extension of the conversation on the ethics of Artificial Intelligence in general. As such, it makes sense to take guidance from the wider body of literature on this topic. A good reference point is The Alan Turing Institute's 'Understanding artificial intelligence ethics and safety' This states that: The Institute's report lays out the following potential harms of AI, all of which extend to Digital Twins, and many of which you will have started to see instances of emerge in the real world: Bias and discrimination; Denial of individual autonomy, recourse, and rights - particularly pertinent to Digital Twins of infrastructure that need to account not just for the predominance of users, but also for minority and disadvantaged user groups. Non-transparent, unexplainable, or unjustifiable outcomes - when we are spending public money, we need to be able to explain the process that determine our investment decisions. Invasions of privacy - our principles earlier in this document touch upon the risk violating data protection legislation. Isolation and disintegration of social connection; Unreliable, unsafe, or poor-quality outcomes - again, particularly relevant when dealing with physical infrastructure. The report then goes on to lay out what steps we should seek to take in order to ensure that we are building an ethical platform. Rather than paraphrase the Institute's report into its entirety in this policy, the recommendation is that we use the guidelines set out in this report as the ethical framework that we apply to the development to Digital Twins. FAST Track Principles from the Turing Institute Image web part Section 6: Governance Collectively, the definition, principles, architecture, ethics, and governance should allow different parts of Highways England to conduct Digital Twin development whilst minimising the risk of inconsistent, redundant, unaligned, or unethical development. The Digital Twin working group exists as a cross-directorate informal meeting to exchange knowledge on the development and application of Digital Twins within and beyond Highways England, and to see to develop common standards. Our Governance should seek to ensure that: This policy is visible within the business; Parts of the business are not developing or engaging in Digital Twin work in ignorance of this wider coordination effort; The members of the Digital Twin working group are able to support digital transformation as it occurs across the business, including Digital by Default, Operational Excellence, Asset Management Transformation, Digital Roads, Digital for Customers, etc; Whilst the Digital Twin is not formally a subsidiary of any other body, we should look to report back into the relevant governance of the programmes listed above, as well as ITD's DDAT board. Broadly, the governance should follow: Digital Twin working group: meeting every two months with representatives from MP, Ops, SES, ITD, and other interested Directorates and suppliers. Responsible for drafting and maintaining this Digital Twin policy and other guidance documents. Representation at Digital by Default, OE 2025, AM Transformation, Digital Roads, Digital for Customers, DDAT, via one or more named members of the Digital Twin working group. This is intended as soft governance where the membership of the Digital Twin working group, and the guidance documents that it originates, can influence and report on the development of digital capabilities across the business.
  9. The Pathway towards an Information Management Framework (IMF) was published by CDBB at the end of May and contains the collaborative vision of over 70 contributors that came together to build a consensus on how we can build a national digital twin from a nation of digital twins. In response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, ‘Data for the Public Good’, the Pathway towards an IMF lays out the ambitious goal of creating a framework where organisations can share data in a robust, resilient and secure way. This will enable better decisions, strengthen the economy and allow for human flourishing. The IMF pathway has at its core, the Gemini Principles, the guiding principles ensuring the framework has purpose, creates trust and is adaptable and flexible enough to work for organisations now and in the future. Taking the selfish approach…. for the greater good The IMF Pathway details the approach to establishing a common language allowing digital twins to talk to each other. This can start within organisations linking up disparate digital twins and breaking up silos to give better corporate control and aid decision making. This then allows the national digital twin to connect those joined up corporate twins by sharing key data to and from other related organisations and sectors to enable deeper insight and benefit to the organisations and the nation for the greater good. In engaging with the IMF Pathway, an organisation has the primary benefit of first recognising the value of their corporate wide data, and secondly, fully preparing themselves to take advantage of, and contribute to, the value and benefit of nationally shared data. The Pathway proposes three building blocks to form the framework:    A Foundation Data Model (FDM): A consistent, clear ontology for the digital twin ecosystem: a structure for sharing and validating data    A Reference Data Library (RDL): Common references, or vocabulary that enable the secure sharing of high-quality data: the common language for describing digital twins    An Integration Architecture (IA): Design and build of the digital systems that manage the connected digital twins: the glue that can link twins together.  The IMF will bring together the standards and data exchange protocols that will allow this ecosystem to create a National Digital Twin from a nation of digital twins. Security and protection of personal data is essential to connecting twins in the right way and is integral in the development of the IMF pathway, as illustrated by this diagram from the IMF Pathway and the accompanying Approach Summary. Following the release of the IMF Pathway, CDBB hosted a webinar and was delighted by the response of the participants and the enthusiasm for the IMF. The recording of the webinar is available on the DT Hub to watch at any time. Continuation of collaboration and consultation The Pathway continues to be a collaborative process and we now look to you to help ensure the widest possible feedback on the document to make sure it meets the needs of infrastructure asset owners, local authorities, architects, engineering consultants, construction companies, software developers, AI companies, big tech and more. The consultation is open until the end of August and we would really value your input.
  10. The National Digital Twin Programme hosted a webinar on Monday 8th June 2020 to discuss and answer questions about the recently published Pathway towards an Information Management Framework. We were delighted to receive many questions during the webinar, and hope that those the panel were able to answer helped deepen understanding and expand interest in the Information Management Framework and the National Digital Twin Programme. We have added those, and the questions we couldn't get to in the available time, as topics within this forum, collated by subject. We would like to invite you to add your suggestions and to take part in the discussion on the DT Hub around the development of the National Digital Twin. We will use the discussions here to compliment the Open Consultation being run through the CDBB website on the IMF Pathway.. As Mark Enzer, the Head of the NDT Programme, said in the webinar, we need to continue to build consensus through collaboration, and progress through sharing and learning together. For those who missed the webinar, a video of the webinar is now available and attached below is a transcript of the the event. IMF Pathway Webinar 08062020 Transcript FINAL.pdf
  11. Peter El Hajj

    National Digital Twin Timeline

    https://time.graphics/line/306868 This timeline provides a high-level view of key events starting with the BIM Strategy Paper all the way to the creation of the National Digital Twin Programme. What events do you think were critical on this national journey to improve use of information over the whole life cycle of assets? What key events do we need to add to the picture? This timeline is referenced in the summary publication joined to the Pathway towards an information management framework: https://www.cdbb.cam.ac.uk/news/approach-delivery-national-digital-twin-united-kingdom
  12. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published over 22,000 formal standards supporting the dissemination of good practice to a range of sectors from agriculture to retail. Due to the breadth of topics covered it is difficult to conceive of a domain which hasn’t been at least partially standardized. In fact, as of 2019, ISO had four standards published which referenced digital twins: ISO 14033 (Quantitative Environmental Information) ISO 15704 (Requirements for enterprise-referencing architectures) ISO 18101-1 (Oil and Gas interoperability) ISO 30146 (Smart City ICT Indicators) And, more interestingly, one of these saw the first definition for a digital twin included within an ISO document: Within ISO, there are several requirements which need to be conformed to when producing a definition. These requirements are outlined within two standards: ISO 10241-1 (general requirements and examples of presentation) ISO 704 (principles and methods) ISO 10241-1, which covers the structure of a term including how to structure a definition and referencing; and ISO 704, which covers the principles of doing terminology work. These standards state that when developing a definition, it should: Be a single phrase specifying the concept and, if possible, representing that concept within a larger system; The digital twin definition from ISO/TS 18001 does so by referencing other key terms such as digital assets and services. This provides a relationship to other related terms. In doing so, this definition makes digital twin a type of digital asset being used to create value. Be general enough to cover the use of the term elsewhere; This definition is specific enough to capture what a digital twin is in a generalist sense, while also being sufficiently generic that the same definition can be used in other standards. This is vital to achieve a harmonization of concepts across a disparate suite of documentation. Not include any requirements; and In addition, this definition doesn’t say what needs to be done for something to be considered a digital twin. This is important as definitions are meant to inform, not instruct. Be able to substitute the term within a sentence. Finally, and possibly the most challenging requirement, a definition needs to be able to substitute for the term within a sentence. For example: This exemplar organization utilizes a digital twin to improve the effectiveness of their predicative maintenance systems This exemplar organization utilizes a digital asset on which services can be performed that provide value to an organization to improve the effectiveness of their predicative maintenance systems Within the Gemini Principles, there is also another definition to consider: However, while this definition isn’t suitable for ISO as it wasn’t designed to meet these requirements, the inclusion of “realistic digital representation” might help enhance the ISO definition. And there we have it. The ISO definition for digital twin is, technically speaking, a good example of an ISO definition. However, does the definition sufficiently capture the correct concepts and relationships outlined within the Gemini Principles? Following the criteria above, how would you define a digital twin?
  13. Last week, @Peter El Hajj posted this blog with The Rail Safety and Standards Board. In this insightful piece, Peter has taken the idea of the National Digital Twin and applied the concept to the rail sector; citing the Gemini Principles, the work under development within the commons, as well as the National Digital Twin Programme. https://www.rssb.co.uk/Insights-and-News/Blogs/The-Rail-Sector-and-the-National-Digital-Twin
  14. Our collective understanding of digital twins is rather nascent. To ensure that we operate under the same base information there is a need to periodically reflect on the concepts and principles we have outlined. This blog post is one in a series which reflects on previously published concepts to consider whether our collective thinking has advanced. As we develop the thinking, tools, and resources relating to digital twins, a lot of discussion is taking place regarding their scope, scale and accuracy. Within the Gemini Principles it stated that a digital twin is: I want to reflect on this statement. In particular, the use of “realistic”. For something to be realistic, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it must represent something in a way that is accurate and true to life. For example, for something to be “photo-realistic” it must appear as if it was a photograph. However, the Gemini Principles state that a digital twin must represent physical reality at the level of accuracy suited to its purpose. Interestingly, while undertaking discovery interviews with DT Hub members we saw this issue realized. Interview Insight "Several members commented on how people in their organizations would try to extend the use of their digital twins beyond their intended purposes." This was seen as both a positive and a negative outcome. The positive being that members of these organizations saw the value in these digital twins and wanted to harness their insight. The negative being that these digital twins did not have the information or, when available, did not have level of accuracy required to be used for these extended purposes. For these extended needs, these digital twins were not realistic. Amongst DT Hub members there appears to be a shared view that digital twins are, fundamentally, purpose-driven. Therefore, digital twins might not be “real” representations, but instead the “right” representation to support a purpose. Consider an example. An air traffic control system utilizes a “digital twin” of runways, aircraft and their flight paths along with sensor information (e.g. weather and radar) to assist with preventing collisions, organize and control the landing and departing of aircraft. In this example while real-time information and analytics are used, none of the physical elements (planes, control towers) have realistic representations, they instead use basic representations to support the air traffic controller. Instinctually an air traffic control system does everything we want a digital twin to do, it is a digital representation of physical assets which also includes sensor information where the physical assets provide a link back to the digital twin. Given this, it should be fairly clear that an air traffic control system would be considered a digital twin. However, this does not appear to be the case. A poll was placed on twitter asking “would you consider an air traffic control system a digital twin”. After 62 votes were cast, the result was exactly 50:50. What does this tell us? Perhaps public messages on what a digital twin is aren’t sufficiently defined? Perhaps the question was poorly worded? Or perhaps, for some, the lack of a realistic representation is the reason they said no? Unfortunately, context for each vote isn’t available. At the very least we can be sure that our shared view may not be shared by everyone. In an age where many consider data to be the new oil perhaps we should consider using our data sparingly. So long as the data provided is sufficient for its intended purpose, a realistic representation may not always be required. And there we have it, realism and its place within Digital Twins. Do you believe that a digital twin has to be realistic? Can something be a digital twin without being a realistic representation? Had you voted on this poll, would you have considered an air traffic control system a digital twin?
  15. amitavirdi

    The Gemini Principles

    Version 1.0.0

    49 downloads

    Digital twins of physical assets are helping organisations to make better-informed decisions, leading to improved outcomes. Creating an ecosystem of connected digital twins – a national digital twin – opens the opportunity to release even greater value, using data for the public good. This paper sets out proposed principles to guide the national digital twin and the information management framework that will enable it.
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