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Digital Twins: the importance of semantic data structuring

Semantic_Data_Structuring Source: depositphotos/Melpomene

If you hear the word Digital Twins, many of you will associate it with a simulation of an asset or a machine. However, this is just one approach. At Bosch, we share the holistic view on Digital Twins: they accumulate all data an asset produces across its entire lifecycle. It is all about bringing heterogenous data from the manufacturing domain together and processing this data into generally understandable information. To do so, it is coupled to context and provided with a semantic model.

This is exactly what the Semantic Data Structuring Working Group is working on since September 2020. It is part of the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), an alliance founded to help manufacturing companies accelerate innovation at scale through cross-industry collaboration, knowledge, and data sharing. The goal of the working group is to create an open source approach for a standardized semantic model that will be available for companies to use and develop further to their specific needs.

Bosch has been pursuing an open source strategy to transform IoT for a long time. In addition, we have a lot of knowledge at hand from ongoing Digital Twin projects. Hence, getting involved in this working group was a logical thing to do. As one of their first deliverables, the group has created the BAMM Aspect Meta Model specification. The complete specification is now available and hosted on GitHub, a free hosting service for software development and version control using Git.

Back to the Digital Twin: since not every recipient needs the same set of information, a Digital Twin is a collection of various aspects of an asset. An aspect can, for example, bundle all information about machine malfunctions. These aspects are characterized by aspect models, which in turn describes information like measurement units or value ranges for sensors in a way that makes data comprehensive to domain experts but is also readable by machines. This allows for faster, more automated responses to the incoming data and reduces integration costs.

A meta model is a model that defines the constructs and attributes used by aspect models. In other words, an aspect meta model provides the machine-readable language used across an entire system of aspect models. The aspect meta model enables the reuse of properties from one aspect model to the next. And finally, BAMM allows the creation of models to describe the semantics of Digital Twins by defining their domain-specific aspects.

To summarize, we can state that the primary benefit of the BAMM Aspect Meta Model is that it standardizes the creation of domain-specific models and makes them reusable. This modularity and reusability simplify the creation of Digital Twins for highly complex systems and supports scalability.

More on open source

Bosch contributes software to the Common Vehicle Interface Initiative (CVII).

If Bosch can do it, you can do it too: Our journey toward becoming an active open source contributor.

Bosch pursues an open source strategy to transform IoT: Learn about our involvement in the Eclipse IoT community