Digital Twins: A Guide to the Labyrinth

There’s so much to learn about these digital twins, but so many dead ends. You lose track of where you are. It's like a labyrinth. You have to be our guide.

 -SVP of Innovation, Aerospace Company

We are four decades into the long evolution of digital simulation. Examples of the three stages on the journey (simulacra, simulations, and digital twins) are hiding in plain sight, for example in oil and gas reservoir modeling; flight simulators/trainers; transport simulations; critical incident impact analyses within cities; CAD/CAE/process simulations of airports, factories, hospitals, supply chains; real-time cyber-driven battlefields; models of the weather; and avatar-populated smart city testbeds.

Digital Twins: A Guide to the Labyrinth

Virtual models are now poised to enter the mainstream in many sectors. Examples include:  

  • The food, energy and transport sectors are about to collaborate on national digital twins
  • Sports teams and investors are creating/buying eSports teams (e.g. David Beckham’s Guild Esports team’s recent London IPO)
  • Construction companies create extensive simulations of environments within days to help shape their bids
  • Automotive companies are assembling simulations of national transport infrastructure to make their smart cars smarter
  • Governments are funding simulations of hospital/clinic/home environments to help care migrate into the community
  • Defence departments have vast virtual worlds of whole sections of the country to predict/prevent/deal with national security incidents

For four decades simulacra, simulations, and digital twins have built increasingly sophisticated and realistic models of our world and this has created an enormous labyrinth of knowledge to navigate.

We are dividing our guide to the digital twin labyrinth into two parts:

Part 1: Orientation, preparation & exploration helps management make sense of best and next practice of modern digital twins and their future potential.

Part 2: Advanced exploration & navigation, to be published in 2021, expands upon business and technical 'next practice' for leaders of digital twins initiatives and programmes.

Here are ten things the reports will cover:

MegaphoneOne big home truth about management and digital twins

StaircaseTwo evolutions in simulation

ArrowsThree stages on the journey

Overlapping SquaresFour layers to advanced digital threads

clipboardFive design principles for digital twins

segmented wheelSix fundamental uses for modern digital twins

mapbookSeven mapping gameplays you can use with simulations and digital twins

gridEight uses for a ‘digital twin grid’

process flow diagramNine dimensions of modern digital twins

toxic signTen myths about digital twins and simulation



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