A Blockchain-Based Approach for the Creation of Digital Twins

Haya R. Hasan, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman, Mohammed Omar, Ibrar Yaqoob, Sasa Pesic, Todd Taylor, Dragan Boscovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The rapid advancements in computing, storage, communications, and networking technologies have enabled the creation of Digital Twins (DTs). A DT is a digital representation of a real-world physical component, product, or equipment. A DT can be used for 3-D design, testing, simulation, and prototyping prior to the manufacturing of the physical component. Once a physical component is in operation, a DT can be used for configuration, monitoring, diagnostics, and prognostics. It is expected that DTs will gain significant attention in the foreseeable future, and will play a key role in Industry 4.0. However, today's approaches, systems, and technologies leveraged for the creation of DTs are mostly centralized and fall short of providing trusted data provenance, audit, and traceability. Also, data related to transactions, logs, and history are not secure or tamper-proof. In this paper, we propose a blockchain-based creation process of DTs to guarantee secure and trusted traceability, accessibility, and immutability of transactions, logs, and data provenance. Our proposed approach uses smart contracts to govern and track transactions initiated by participants involved in the creation of DTs. Our approach also employs decentralized storage of interplanetary file systems to store and share DTs data. Moreover, we present details on our system design and architecture, implementation, and algorithms. Furthermore, we provide security and cost analysis, and show how our approach fulfills the requirements of DTs process creation. We make the smart contract code for creating DTs publicly available on Github.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9001017
Pages (from-to)34113-34126
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Access
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • blockchain
  • Digital twins
  • Ethereum
  • Industry 4.0
  • security
  • smart contracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Hasan, H. R., Salah, K., Jayaraman, R., Omar, M., Yaqoob, I., Pesic, S., Taylor, T., & Boscovic, D. (2020). A Blockchain-Based Approach for the Creation of Digital Twins. IEEE Access, 8, 34113-34126. [9001017]. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2020.2974810