Building Digital Twins (and Quadruplets) using a Discrete-Event system specification methodology

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Building Digital Twins (and Quadruplets) using a Discrete-Event system specification methodology

Gabriel A. Wainer, Cristina Ruiz-Martin
Carleton University

Development of Embedded Real-Time Systems is prone to error and developing bug-free applications is expensive and no guarantees can be provided. Most methods for developing embedded real-time systems require complex verification and validation efforts with no guarantee for bug-free software products. Although formal methods have showed shown promising results, they are difficult to apply when the complexity of the system under development scales up. Instead, systems engineers have often relied on the use of modeling and simulation (M&S) techniques to make system development tasks manageable. In this talk we discuss the use of a Modeling and Simulation-based framework to develop digital twins based on the DEVS (Discrete EVent systems Specification) formalism. DEVS provides a formal foundation to M&S that combines the advantages of a simulation-based approach with the rigor of a formal methodology. We will discuss how to use this framework to incrementally develop embedded applications, and to integrate simulation models with hardware components seamlessly. We then introduce the concept of Digital Quadruplet which includes: a 3D virtual representation of the physical world (a Digital Twin), a Discrete-Event formal model of the system of interest (called the “Digital Triplet”) which can be used for formal analysis as well as simulation studies, and a physical model of the real system under study for experimentation (called the “Digital Quadruplet”). We focus on the definition of the idea of a Digital Quadruplet, and how to make these four apparati consistent and reusable. We show two case studies: one in the field of autonomous aerial vehicles (a Bell helicopter and its digital twin) and the construction of a digital quadruplet for intelligent building automation.

GABRIEL WAINER, FSCS, is Professor in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University (Ottawa, ON, Canada). He has held visiting positions at the University of Arizona; LSIS (CNRS), Université Paul Cézanne, University of Nice, INRIA Sophia-Antipolis, Université de Bordeaux (France); UCM, UPM, UPC (Spain), and others. He is one of the founders of SIMUTools, ANNSIM (SCS/IEEE/ACM), the Symposium on Theory of Modeling and Simulation (SCS/ACM/IEEE), and Symposium on Simulation in Architecture and Urban Design – SimAUD (SCS/ACM/IEEE). Prof. Wainer is Editor in Chief of SIMULATION, member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Simulation (Taylor and Francis), IEEE Computing in Science and Engineering, Wireless Networks (Elsevier). He is the head of the Advanced Real-time Simulation lab, located at Carleton University’s Centre for advanced Simulation and Visualization (V-Sim). He has been the recipient of various awards, including the IBM Eclipse Innovation, SCS Leadership, and various Best Papers. He has received numerous awards, including most notably recent awards such as Nepean’s Canada 150th Anniversary Medal (2017), ACM Recognition of Service Award (2018), IEEE Outstanding Engineering Award (Ottawa Section – 2019) and the McLeod Outstanding Service Award (SCS, 2022). He is an ACM Distinguished Speaker and a Fellow of SCS. His e-mail is

CRISTINA RUIZ MARTIN received a Ph.D. in Cotutelle between Universidad de Valladolid and Carleton University (2018). She is an Instructor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University (Ottawa, ON, Canada). She received the DEVS Modeling and Simulation Ph.D. Dissertation Award from SCS (2019) and the Young Simulation Scientist Award from SCS (2020). She is a member of the Board of Directors of SCS since July 2021. Her research interests include modeling and simulation in decision making. She can be reached at

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