Technical Level: Intermidiate

Digital Twins in Horses and Dynamic Template Binding

This paper discusses one particular case study, namely a horse, but encompasses not only the horse's digital twin, but a whole super set of data connections

Introduction - EyA and Digital Twins

Introduction - EyA and Digital Twins

Important Note

At the time of writing this paper, the terms Metaverse and Meta World(s) have been strongly discussed and in many ways contested. The author of this paper is keen on new explorations and developments of the internet, but does believe at this current time, the Metaverse is not truly in existence. EyA however does provide the ability for any given company wishing to participate in a unified world, the platform to explore and build their worlds in the open source clouds of EyA. Our organisation has also recently joined the Metaverse Standards Forum as a principle member in order to actively evaluate and assist in the development of the potential for a “real” Metaverse.


EyA was developed with the intention of being capable of aligning the semantics of any physical or digital “thing” in the universe into a digital representation of itself. This is commonly known now as a digital twin and the concept has been tackled, mostly fruitlessly by many organisations and data scientists in the past. EyA successfully developed the entire relational model of templates, template associations and those assets created and associated to them, consequently redefining the entire class structure of digital twins to empower the future of physical and digital convergence.

This paper discusses one particular case study, namely a horse, but encompasses not only the horse's digital twin, but a whole super set of data connections enabling an entire lifecycle of any given horse and every physical and digital interaction with such animal.

Prerequisite Reading

EyA - The Interchange of Everything

Template Schema and Semantics Overview

Digital identity twin – traversing people and organisations to a secure and private digital presence

Cattle lifecycle, traceability and supply chain - Case Study

Dynamic Template Binding and Global Privacy / Boundaries - Person Case Study

Horizontal and Vertical Asset Associations - Rapid Contamination Discovery

The Digital Twin Basics

It is rather easy to actually map a digital twin of something and in fact, using Excel sheets (and other more complex solutions), construction organisations have been completing this to a degree with buildings and associated components, from elevators, air conditioning units  to smoke sensors  for some years. However, in order to build a “real or complete” digital twin, we have to think much deeper than a singular relationship between a building and a “smoke alarm”, instead delving far deeper into the constituent components of said alarm and even to those components being part of the component itself. With the case of a life-form, we should look further, into DNA, RNA and even the constituent elements, particles and further in matter and anti-matter.

Reading the previous paragraph would send most database designers into a complete breakdown of impossibility, not only in the semantics, but also in how to control the unlimited processes required to interrogate, update and create a multitude of different data sets throughout the lifecycle of a given object.

Complex Digital Twin Relationships and Semantics

In order to bring complete calm to something which would be deemed almost impossible, or messy, EyA developed the templating language which takes something (anything) from the most basic constituent particle and provides relationships between that and the upstream components to build structures in ultra-complex environments. This process was already explained in the Template Schema and Semantics Overview paper (above) and the diagram is repeated below.

Reading through the diagram, it is easy to see an ever increasingly complex arrangement of properties to achieve a complete digital twin. These properties are also related through inheritance downstream to the most basic entity template. As discussed in the Template Schema and Semantics Overview, just as with any programming language, we have operators being variables and constants (plus more) of standardised types. For instance, text fields, integers and boolean, but also scientifically accepted units, namely SI, which allow for the complex mapping of anything including chemical elements, DNA, particles through to much higher-level attachments, URLs, arrays and structures.

Just as with an object orientated language, these properties are stored within classes,  hereby called tabs and within those, categories and finally parameters stored within the categories. Tabs are the top level of the templates, providing a structured method of template layout for varying structures like product information, service information, regulatory information and many others. Categories within them allow the complex mapping and grouping of unlimited numbers of parameters into concise packages.

Obviously the diagram and discussion above is in a very simple format. The diagram for a human being would take many pages within this paper to even start to depict a human. However, we just need to see through the scope of the templates and imagine all of the related parameters a human being is made up of.

So, from the birth of a person, a digital twin can be organically grown throughout life by creating a unique asset from the template. Think of creating an Excel sheet from a template, pre-populated with all the fields, ready to start absorbing data.

Going back to our construction example, we can now see that a building may have CAD or BIM data as part of the created asset. This is good, we have the most fundamental digital twin, but still, we don’t have all the components, do we? When we do, we then have the relationship between the building and all the assets created from the other templates, including those smoke alarms. Let’s think for a moment - the smoke alarm is a digital twin in its own right, and the building is or may be associated to the smoke alarm for a given period of time, but we also take this into account that at some point this relationship may be severed, possibly through replacement, or even selling to another building, where a new relationship is formed.

So, we now have many fundamental digital twins, which are all in someway at some given point associated with each other, but all have very different lifecycles, including different service records, service companies, recycling requirements - the list may be and CAN BE completely infinite, but it simply doesn’t matter as each asset in both the real world and the physical world are their own objects throughout their lifecycle.

Now, if we look at this infinite complex structure, we can also then consider each twin containing its own CAD or any other information types. These for any given period of time are also linked in an associative manner, and can be joined logically within either a full schematic of a building, or a multi dimensional complex array of information. To the orbiting user(s), they only ever need to interrogate or use the data required at that given point in time; however, if you can imagine a digital twin building in virtual (or even augmented) reality, the dynamic relationships would lead to the ability to “drill” as deep into data, videos, images, CAD drawings in real-time as required.

Binding Templates and Linking to Create the Digital Twin

Binding Templates and Linking to Create the Digital Twin

Template Binding

As with “things” in the main only being associated with each other for a certain period of time, we should also consider other types of data which we may choose to associate for  a given period of time. Previously we covered this in Dynamic Template Binding and Global Privacy / Boundaries - Person Case Study, where a person could have a template which is based on an element which requires a close or distant and distinct link to a person. We discussed how an electronic medical record can be that typical data type which then allowed permissions to be presented to untrusted governments / medical organisations globally without allowing for unpermissioned data to traverse boundaries. This of course can be any type of data set, from ID records, through to applications or games which a person has opted to use and allowed permission for the application to bind its template to the person’s digital twin.

Again, we can see that it is easy to create a vast and complex array of templates bound to anything, for instance a service template data set bound to an air conditioning unit within a building.

The Horse

From the human case study, we can quite easily see that it is quite simple, using a predefined set of templates to create a digital twin of a horse. There are  many relationships organically grown between the horse and a human life-form. After all, we both are built  from many of the same constituent particles. We also may be associated with a horse for a given period of time in the physical world and this can be a truly defined association. As with our horizontal and vertical asset associations - rapid contamination discovery case study, it would also for example be very possible to track the source and spread of a disease through the associative asset logic built into EyA, enabling rapid containment across this breed, and other breeds too.

However, as our physical and digital worlds converge, or even collide, we can consider both the physical world association, but also with a meta world of a virtual horse with a virtual human. There is still a given association, but within a borderless metaverse of meta worlds and our digital twins, or presentation via avatars.

Real World Template Binding

As with a human, any type of template may be bound to a horse. So for instance, the electronic medical record, animal passport, racing history of a race horse and breeding programme; we also have the relationship built of parent and child relationships, allowing the organic evolution of all of these templates throughout entire family trees, never lost, never deleted and never forged.

Digital World Template Binding

As we have a digital representation of the horse, we can also fall into the metaverse through binding digital templates rather than digital representations of a template to the digital twin of the horse. This provides the ability to traverse seamlessly into the digital world and empower the horse to take on anything we may wish it to be. For instance, a horse may have a digital flat racing template with it racing on a virtual flat race platform, but then using the physical traits of the horse, binding a template for a game be it show jumping, or even a virtual medieval game, taking into account the real world abilities, into the meta world of choice.

One of our independent software developer (ISV) partners, Simply Digital Racing has recently developed a rapid proof of concept bringing a life like and ultra complex set of algorithms and data from the physical world of horse racing, into an online game of wit and strategy. Players are able to purchase digital twins of real world horses, and race them in digital twins of real world race courses, using real world data transformed as their digital platform.

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