Digital twins will combine capabilities in 2024 says ScaleOut Software
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Dr. William L. Bain from ScaleOut Software shares his 2024 predictions about digital twins, how they will combine real-time monitoring and simulations to better guide live systems in the coming year, creating a powerful new way for system managers to make dynamic decisions that guide operations.
Below, Dr. William L. Bain shares his 2024 predictions for how digital twins will combine real-time monitoring and simulations to help operational managers of live systems manage complexity and make better decisions in the moment.
New capabilities for digital twins
Over the last two decades, digital twins have revolutionized the development of complex new products, like jet engines, with their ability to model detailed behavior and help engineers refine their designs. Now, digital twins have emerged as a powerful software tool for monitoring live systems and responding to issues faster than previously possible. For example, they can simultaneously track a nationwide fleet of rail cars and immediately alert managers to impending mechanical failures to avoid costly and dangerous derailments.
Unlike legacy management systems, which typically push real-time data to offline storage for batch analytics that can take minutes or hours, digital twins hold data in memory for fast access, enabling them to immediately spot trends and alert managers. Using a scalable technology called “in-memory computing,” digital twins can track thousands of data sources, ingest telemetry, and generate analytics results in milliseconds.
With their fast computing at scale and natural correspondence to physical entities, digital twins can also implement simulations of large, complex systems. For example, they can model the daily operations of an airline or a city’s traffic control network and intricate interactions that are otherwise difficult to measure. These simulations can assist engineers as they evaluate a spectrum of design choices.
Combining real-time monitoring and simulations
In 2024, I predict that digital twins will combine their capabilities to create a powerful new way for system managers to make dynamic decisions that guide operations. By integrating real-time monitoring with simulation, managers will be able to quickly predict the effect of alternate decisions at the moment and make more informed choices. The insights provided by simulations using live data will enable better decision-making and adjustments that weren’t possible with traditional data analytics.
For example, an airline operations manager faced with flight cancellations due to inclement weather will be able to model the impact of holding specific outbound flights on the system’s key performance indicators to help guide critical decisions. Simulations will model the ripple effect of schedule changes on the myriad interacting entities within an airline system, including passengers, bags, pilot availability, gate assignments, and much more. The results of these simulations will provide managers with insights that are otherwise beyond reach during live operations.
The use of digital twins to integrate real-time monitoring with simulation will also enable forensic analysis that evaluates decisions, explores alternate outcomes, and aids in training. Digital twins can record real-time telemetry and then replay simulations with differing parameters that reflect a spectrum of scenarios, such as alternate choices for holding outbound flights. Managers will be able to examine the results of their decisions in detail to help prepare for the unpredictability of live operations.
Organizations in a wide range of industries increasingly need to make better and faster decisions to manage their live systems at the moment. Security systems need to identify threats, healthcare systems need to spot life-threatening events, and transportation systems need to respond to disruptions. In 2024, the use of digital twins to integrate real-time monitoring and simulations will prove to be a game-changing combination for system managers, helping them grapple with growing complexity and make more informed decisions than ever before.
About William Bain
Dr. William L. Bain is the founder and CEO of ScaleOut Software, which has been developing software products since 2003 designed to enhance operational intelligence within live systems using scalable, in-memory computing technology. Bill earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rice University. Over a 40-year career focused on parallel computing, he has contributed to advancements at Bell Labs Research, Intel, and Microsoft, and holds several patents in computer architecture and distributed computing. Bill founded and ran three companies before ScaleOut Software. The most recent, Valence Research, developed web load-balancing software and was acquired by Microsoft Corporation to enhance the Windows Server operating system. As an investor and member of the screening committee for the Seattle-based Alliance of Angels, Bill is actively involved in entrepreneurship and the angel community.
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