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  1. A new infographic, enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, is published today to bring to life a prototype digital twin of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) on the West Cambridge campus. Xiang Xie and Henry Fenby-Taylor discuss the infographic and lessons learned from the project. The research team for the West Cambridge Digital Twin project has developed a digital twin that allows various formats of building data to function interoperably, enabling better insights and optimisation for asset managers and better value per whole life Pound. The graphic centres the asset manager as a decision maker as a vital part of this process, and illustrates that each iteration improves the classification and refinement of the data. It also highlights challenges and areas for future development, showing that digital twin development is an ongoing journey, not finite destination. The process of drawing data from a variety of sources into a digital twin and transforming it into insights goes through an iterative cycle of: Sense/Ingest - use sensor arrays to collect data, or draw on pre-existing static data, e.g. a geometric model of the building Classify - label, aggregate, sort and describe data Refine - select what data is useful to the decision-maker at what times and filter it into an interface designed to provide insights Decide – use insights to weigh up options and decide on further actions Act/Optimise - feed changes and developments to the physical and digital twins to optimise both building performance and the effectiveness of the digital twin at supporting organisational goals. Buildings can draw data from static building models, quasi-dynamic building management systems and smart sensors, all with different data types, frequencies and formats. This means that a significant amount of time and resources are needed to manually search, query, verify and analyse building data that is scattered across different databases, and this process can lead to errors. The aim of the West Cambridge Digital Twin research facility project is to integrate data from these various sources and automate the classification and refinement for easier, more timely decision-making. In their case study, the team has created a digital twin based on a common data environment (CDE) that is able to integrate data from a variety of sources. The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema is used to capture the building geometry information, categorising building zones and the components they contain. Meanwhile, a domain vocabulary and taxonomy describe how the components function together as a system to provide building services. The key to achieving this aim was understanding the need behind the building management processes already in place. This meant using the expertise and experience of the building manager to inform the design of a digital twin that was useful and usable within those processes. This points to digital twin development as a socio-technical project, involving culture change, collaboration and alignment with strategic aims, as well as technical problem solving. In the future, the team wants to develop twins that can enhance the environmental and economic performance of buildings. Further research is also needed to improve the automation at the Classify and Refine stages so they continue to get better at recognising what information is needed to achieve organisational goals. You can read more from the West Cambridge Digital Twin project by visiting their research profile. This research forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge. It was enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, of which CDBB is a core partner, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). To see more from the Digital Twin Journeys series, see the homepage on the CDBB website.
  2. 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
  3. 68 downloads

    As set out in the Pathway to the Information Management Framework, the Integration Architecture is one of the three key technical components of the Information Management Framework, along with the Reference Data Library and the Foundation Data Model. It consists of the protocols that will enable the managed sharing of data across the National Digital Twin. In the Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper, the National Digital Twin programme’s (NDTp) technical team sets out key architectural principles and functional components for the creation of this critical technical component. The team defines a redeployable architectural pattern that allows the publication, protection, discovery, query and retrieval of data that conforms to the NDT’s ecosystem of Reference Data Libraries and the NDT’s Foundation Data Model. The paper will take you through: A requirement overview: a series of use cases that the Integration Architecture needs to enable, including: routine operational use cases: where data from a diverse set of organisations can be shared and analysed for a single purpose (e.g to support legal and regulatory requirements) the ability to respond to an emergency: pulling together data from across different communities in a way that was not foreseen before the incident that caused the requirement ‘business as usual’ NDT maintenance use cases such as publishing a Digital Twin or adding a user to the NDT ecosystem. Architectural principles: key architectural principles that must be adhered to, regardless of the type of architecture that is implemented, including: Data quality: data quality needs to be measurable and published with the data itself Privacy of the published data: the Integration Architecture shall ensure that data is shared and used only according to the conditions under which it was published. Security: ensuring that all data and functions are secure from bad actors. Encryption will be a particularly key aspect of the security features in the Integration Architecture. Recommended integration architecture pattern: Three general architectural pattern options are explored in the paper (centralised, distributed, and federated). The benefits and concerns for each pattern are discussed with respect to the requirements. The recommended architectural pattern is a hybrid of these three approaches – centralising certain functions, whilst distributing and federating others. The recommended pattern is intended to allow datasets to be shared locally (i.e., within an NDT Node, see figure below), but will also allow for inter-node discovery, authorisation and data sharing to take place. NDT Nodes may be established by individual organisations, regulators and industry associations, or service providers and will be able to handle Digital Twins on behalf of their constituent organisations and provide a secure sharing boundary. In the recommended architecture: Datasets are published by the data owner (1), these are then made available to the organisations within the community of interest, in addition an event is issued to register publication with the Core (2). When queries are submitted (A), the dataset can then be discovered by organisations in other communities of interest (B) and retrieved where appropriate (C). The release, discovery and retrieval are carried out according to the authorisation service so that access is controlled as specified by the data owner. Detail of the functional components: The Core Services are likely to be quite thin, comprising mainly of: a master NDT Catalogue that holds the location of available NDT Datasets across the ecosystem the master FDM/RDL that will synchronise with the subset that is relevant for each NDT Node a publish/ subscribe model to propagate data changes to parties that have an interest and appropriate contract in place. The Core and each NDT Node shall interact through a microservice layer, with which they shall have to be compliant. Next steps: The paper concludes with a list of ten key tasks to develop further the Integration Architecture components. We will make sure to inform you on progress and in the meantime, we are looking forward to hearing your questions and comments.
  4. As set out in the Pathway to the Information Management Framework, the Integration Architecture is one of the key technical components of the Information Management Framework. It consists of the protocols that will enable the managed sharing of data across the National Digital Twin. In the recently released Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper, the NDTp’s technical team set out key architectural principles and functional components for the creation of this critical technical component. The team defines a redeployable architectural pattern that allows the publication, protection, discovery, query and retrieval of data that conforms to the NDT’s ecosystem of Reference Data Libraries and the NDT’s Foundation Data Model. Download the Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper The Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper will take you through: A requirement overview: a series of use cases that the Integration Architecture needs to enable, including: routine operational use cases: where data from a diverse set of organisations can be shared and analysed for a single purpose (e.g to support legal and regulatory requirements) the ability to respond to an emergency: pulling together data from across different communities in a way that was not foreseen before the incident that caused the requirement ‘business as usual’ NDT maintenance use cases such as publishing a Digital Twin or adding a user to the NDT ecosystem. Architectural principles: key architectural principles that must be adhered to, regardless of the type of architecture that is implemented, including: Data quality: data quality needs to be measurable and published with the data itself Privacy of the published data: the Integration Architecture shall ensure that data is shared and used only according to the conditions under which it was published. Security: ensuring that all data and functions are secure from bad actors. Encryption will be a particularly key aspect of the security features in the Integration Architecture. Recommended integration architecture pattern: Three general architectural pattern options are explored in the paper (centralised, distributed, and federated). The benefits and concerns for each pattern are discussed with respect to the requirements. The recommended architectural pattern is a hybrid of these three approaches – centralising certain functions, whilst distributing and federating others. The recommended pattern is intended to allow datasets to be shared locally (i.e., within an NDT Node, see figure below), but will also allow for inter-node discovery, authorisation and data sharing to take place. NDT Nodes may be established by individual organisations, regulators and industry associations, or service providers and will be able to handle Digital Twins on behalf of their constituent organisations and provide a secure sharing boundary. In the recommended architecture: Datasets are published by the data owner (1), these are then made available to the organisations within the community of interest, in addition an event is issued to register publication with the Core (2). When queries are submitted (A), the dataset can then be discovered by organisations in other communities of interest (B) and retrieved where appropriate (C). The release, discovery and retrieval are carried out according to the authorisation service so that access is controlled as specified by the data owner. Detail of the functional components: The Core Services are likely to be quite thin, comprising mainly of: a master NDT Catalogue that holds the location of available NDT Datasets across the ecosystem the master FDM/RDL that will synchronise with the subset that is relevant for each NDT Node a publish/ subscribe model to propagate data changes to parties that have an interest and appropriate contract in place. The Core and each NDT Node shall interact through a microservice layer, with which they shall have to be compliant. Next steps The paper concludes with a list of 10 key tasks to develop further the Integration Architecture components. We will make sure to inform you on progress and in the meantime, we are looking forward to hearing your questions and comments on the paper!
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