DiTEC: Digital Twin for Evolutionary Changes in water networks

Project: Research

Project Details


The bi-directional communication link with the physical system is one of the main distinguishing features of the Digital Twin paradigm. This continuous flow of data and information, along its entire life cycle, is what makes a Digital Twin a dynamic and evolving entity and not merely a high-fidelity copy. There is an increasing realisation of the importance of a well functioning digital twin in critical infrastructures, such as water networks. Configuration of water network assets, such as valves, pumps, boosters and reservoirs, must be carefully managed and the water flows rerouted, often manually, which is a slow and costly process. The state of the art water management systems assume a relatively static physical model that requires manual corrections. Any change in the network conditions or topology due to degraded control mechanisms, ongoing maintenance, or changes in the external context situation, such as a heat wave, makes the existing model diverge from the reality. Our project proposes a unique approach to real-time monitoring of the water network that can handle automated changes of the model, based on the measured discrepancy of the model with the obtained IoT sensor data. We aim at an evolutionary approach that can apply detected changes to the model and update it in real-time without the need for any additional model validation and calibration. The state of the art deep learning algorithms will be applied to create a machine-learning data-driven simulation of the water network system. Moreover, unlike most research that is focused on detection of network problems and sensor faults, we will investigate the possibility of making a step further and continue using the degraded network and malfunctioning sensors until the maintenance and repairs can take place, which can take a long time. We will create a formal model and analyse the effect on data readings of different malfunctions, to construct a mitigating mechanism that is tailor-made for each malfunction type and allows to continue using the data, albeit in a limited capacity.
Effective start/end date1/04/2231/03/26