University of Oulu

N. H. Motlagh et al., "Digital Twins for Smart Spaces - Beyond IoT Analytics," in IEEE Internet of Things Journal, doi: 10.1109/JIOT.2023.3287032.

Digital twins for smart spaces : beyond IoT analytics

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Author: Motlagh, Naser Hossein1; Zaidan, Martha Arbayani1; Lovén, Lauri2;
Organizations: 1Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
2Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, Finland
3Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-30


Smart spaces, physical spaces that are integrated with sensor-enabled IoT devices, are a powerful paradigm for optimizing the operations of the space and improving its quality for the occupants. Managing the applications and services running in the space is a complex task as the operations of the devices and services are dependent on the physical characteristics of the space, the occupants of the space, and the technologies that are being integrated. Digital twinning, the combination of physical representations with a virtual counterpart, is a potential technology for facilitating the management of smart space devices and services. While digital twins are increasingly adopted in industry, their use in everyday environments remains low due to difficulties in creating and linking the virtual representation with the physical environment. In this paper, we propose our vision for the adoption of digital twinning as a pathway to improve the functions of smart spaces. We derive a generic reference architecture that comprises four layers, covering the physical space, the sensing infrastructure, the network interfaces, and the underlying computational infrastructure. Next, we identify and address key requirements for the uptake of digital twins in smart space and assess their benefits using the ascendancy model of business analytics. Finally, to demonstrate the practicality of digital twinning, we present a proof-of-concept digital twin for the TellUs smart space at the University of Oulu in Finland and use it to highlight the potential benefits of different ascendancy levels.

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Series: IEEE internet of things journal
ISSN: 2372-2541
ISSN-E: 2327-4662
ISSN-L: 2327-4662
Volume: Early access
DOI: 10.1109/jiot.2023.3287032
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This research is supported by the Nokia Center for Advanced Research (NCAR) and by the Business Finland project with the number 8782/31/2022. The research is also supported by the Academy of Finland grant numbers 335934, 345008, 339614, and 355330, and in part by Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) with grant number 75233229 and in part by the EMME-CARE Project through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant 856612. The research is also supported by Finland Centennial Foundation to Urban Air Quality 2.0 project. Also sponsored by ECSEL JU FRACTAL (grant 877056).
EU Grant Number: (877056) FRACTAL - A Cognitive Fractal and Secure EDGE based on an unique Open-Safe-Reliable-Low Power Hardware Platform Node
Copyright information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see