The IEEE Internet Computing Magazine published its long-awaited issue on digital twins. The latest edition features an article by DUET on how to build interoperable and trusted digital twins of smart cities.
GHENT, 18 July 2022 - Digital twins became a buzzword fairly recently despite being in existence for at least 50 years in one form or the other. What started as a useful tool for engineers is now fast-establishing a foothold in areas as diverse as health, last-mile logistics, and urban planning.
In Europe and internationally, several dozen cities already have local digital twins (LDTs) at different maturity levels, with many more expected to follow suit in the coming years. To accelerate LDT adoption, DUET is proposing a reference architecture based on common principles, building blocks, and standards. The architecture acts as a central broker onto which different data sources, models, visualisations, interaction clients, and other components connect.
Dynamic correspondence linking the architecture with models and data makes it possible to monitor and synchronise the state and behaviour of the digital twin with the physical environment being mirrored. Individual models are integrated through APIs to form a cloud of models that can be called upon to perform various what-if analyses related to traffic, air quality and noise pollution.
“The three uses were selected by DUET pilot cities to achieve their local policy objectives. One of the strengths of the DUET framework is that it can be easily adapted to the needs of new cities with different priorities e.g. energy efficiency of buildings, risk of flooding,” said DUET coordinator Lieven Raes of Digital Vlaanderen.
“The framework can easily accommodate new monitoring and simulation requirements thanks to the modular nature of its architecture. But arguably the framework’s biggest strength is its function as a change management tool, one that facilitates new ways of working among urban stakeholders, who can use digital twin technology to explore urban dynamics holistically, gradually building a shared understanding of reality, and based on that co-creating solutions with a more lasting impact.”