Digital Twins Part 2: Getting Technically Started
Before you can begin using the Digital Twins service to model the physical world and extract meaningful data that you can use in problem-solving, you need to first understand how the service works. Here is a succinct but brief understanding of how the Digital Twins technology works.
Objects and models
Models are created using the Digital Twins technology based on the specific needs of the user. The model is used to make up what is known as an ontology – details related to the floors, venues, regions, offices, zones, conference rooms, and focus rooms. The Digital Twins technology can help customize a wide set of scenarios. There are a few main categories of objects used in model making that you need to be aware of before you technically get started with Digital Twins. They are as follows:
- Sensors – Used for detecting particular events in the physical world such as a change in temperature, light intensity or pressure.
- Users – These are used for identifying occupants and detailing their individual characteristics.
- Devices – Either virtual or physical pieces of equipment that are involved in the modeling process.
- Spaces – An umbrella term that is used to define a particular region or area such as a venue or region.
Data Processing - Stages
The data processing segment of Azure Digital Twins is able to process data in four main stages: validate, match, compute, and dispatch. The stages are focused on being able to find the relevant user functions that need to be run and execute them by comparing/matching them to the previous phase. The functions are able to emit custom notifications by reading and updating the computed values.
Data Processing - Objects
Objects are mainly defined under three broad categories in Digital Twins which are: matchers, user-defined functions, and role assignments.
- Matchers. Matchers are used to outlining a particular set of conditions and assess which actions take place based on information that is received from sensors. Matchers are usually expressed as comparisons against a particular outlined path.
- Role assignments. Role assignments are used to outline which set of functions (explained above) have the ability to be able to access the spatial graph and related entities. A particular function, for example, may hold within itself the capacity to be able to create, read, update or delete graph data within a particular space. To put it simply, role assignments define the control and accessibility scope of a particular user-defined function (such as asking the graph for data or related actions).
Why do I need to know this?
Having at least a basic understanding of how the Azure Digital Twins operate is crucial to creating useful models for data collection and analysis purposes. Without knowing how the service works and what technical skills are required to get started, it is hard to put this model creating technology to good use.