Augmented Collective Digital Twins for Self-Organising Cyber-Physical Systems

Abstract

Context. Self-organising and collective computing approaches are increasingly applied to large-scale cyber-physical systems (CPS), enabling them to adapt and cooperate in dynamic environments. Also, in CPS engineering, digital twins are often leveraged to provide synchronised logical counterparts of physical entities, whereas in sensor networks the different-but-related concept of virtual device is used e.g. to abstract groups of sensors. Vision. We envision the design concept of 'augmented collective digital twin' that captures digital twins at a collective level extended with purely virtual devices. We argue that this concept can foster the engineering of self-organising CPS by providing a holistic, declarative, and integrated system view. Method. From a review and proposed taxonomy of logical devices comprehending both digital twins and virtual devices, we reinterpret a meta-model for self-organising CPSs and discuss how it can support augmented collective digital twins. We illustrate the approach in a crowd-aware navigation scenario, where virtual devices are opportunistically integrated into the system to enhance spatial coverage, improving navigation capabilities. Conclusion. By integrating physical and virtual devices, the novel notion of augmented collective digital twin paves the way to self-improving system functionality and intelligent use of resources in self-organising CPSs. Conclusion. By integrating physical and virtual devices, the novel notion of augmented collective digital twin paves the way to self-improving system functionality and intelligent use of resources in self-organising CPSs

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