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2017 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Digital Twin: Mitigating Unpredictable, Undesirable Emergent Behavior in Complex Systems

Authors: Michael Grieves, John Vickers

Published in: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Complex Systems

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Systems do not simply pop into existence. They progress through lifecycle phases of creation, production, operations, and disposal. The issues leading to undesirable and unpredicted emergent behavior are set in place during the phases of creation and production and realized during the operational phase, with many of those problematic issues due to human interaction. We propose that the idea of the Digital Twin, which links the physical system with its virtual equivalent can mitigate these problematic issues. We describe the Digital Twin concept and its development, show how it applies across the product lifecycle in defining and understanding system behavior, and define tests to evaluate how we are progressing. We discuss how the Digital Twin relates to Systems Engineering and how it can address the human interactions that lead to “normal accidents.” We address both Digital Twin obstacles and opportunities, such as system replication and front running. We finish with NASA’s current work with the Digital Twin.

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Footnotes
1
Modified to add that the results could not be obtained from the components individually. While there are much more detailed descriptions of systems and their characteristics (see Ackoff, R. L. [2]) this definition suffices for the points we wish to make here.
 
2
The technical issues will most likely not be what gate this advancement. The lack of interoperability between vendor software systems that implement different aspects of this Digital Twin functionality will be the major issue. The user community will need to be proactive in encouraging the various vendors to play nice in the digital sandbox.
 
3
We suspect that Turing would be astounded that this would be the name of a movie featuring his life and work.
 
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Metadata
Title
Digital Twin: Mitigating Unpredictable, Undesirable Emergent Behavior in Complex Systems
Authors
Michael Grieves
John Vickers
Copyright Year
2017
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-38756-7_4

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