Digital Twins & Subsystems

If you’ve ever worked with an IoT platform, you might have noticed it typically has you define a simple schema or Digital Twin Model for an entire person, machine or environmental system.

If the system you intend to monitor is simple enough, then a single digital twin instance may suffice. On the other hand, if what you’re monitoring is comprised of multiple, complex subsystems, you may have to go a bit further.

For instance, an automobile is actually a system made up of many subsystems including the engine, braking, transmission, electrical, & fuel subsystems just to name a few. Depending on complexity, it stands to reason that some of those subsystems deserve to be digital twins with telemetry, virtual, static & command properties of their own. Not only would these subsystem digital twins have a parent/child relationship with the overall car, they would have causal relationships with each other. If the engine doesn’t run when you start your car, the cause could be the battery, starter or alternator in the electrical subsystem.

Defined causal relationships between the engine & properties of the electrical subsystem would alert you to the correct cause. This helps you get prescriptive analytics.

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2 thoughts on “Digital Twins & Subsystems”

  1. Great article, succinct and straight to the point!

    This is absolutely true, early in the 90’s with the Shlaer-Mellor OOA methodology the broke this into modeling the world in data to describe what we now would call a digital twin. We then interconnected those objects/data/digital twins with state machines sending events back and forth (in FORTH) and had a very powerful and robust architecture for building firmware.


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