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Access management for digital twins in the built environment

Alshammari, Kaznah 2021. Access management for digital twins in the built environment. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Recent technological advances in the built environment have sought to create smart cities by coupling information models such as BIM with Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs). BIM models are now widely used together with IoT-based systems and embrace smart technologies that provide communication layer compatibility. Digital twins are expected to open new opportunities for cyber-physical systems in the future through monitoring and simulation. Security, on the other hand, is rarely properly considered in this fast-evolving industry. However, while they provide various advantages, according to the literature, they also present a number of concerns, the most serious of which is security. Attempting to integrate access management into digital twins that will be used in built-environment applications presents significant obstacles. Furthermore, this is an issue that has received too little attention. As a result, digital twins that can safeguard and identify real twins are in demand. This research focuses on how to enhance the access management frameworks for digital twins in the built environment, paying particular attention to access control, data confidentiality, data integrity, and Single Sign-On (SSO). As a result, this thesis defines an access management framework for digital twins in the built environment that is supported by a requirement specification of access management ontology This study engages with built environment experts to consider their role as stakeholders and identifies their main concerns, gauges their assessments of current technologies and utilities, and stimulates public awareness of built environment applications’ development goals. According to these findings, there is still a need for a suitable and safe access management paradigm for digital twins. Those in charge of overseeing smart building investments and the use of BIM in asset design and management must be aware of the latest access management threats and take steps to prevent any risk to the shared data environment. Therefore, this study has developed a semantically defined access management framework for the built environment through an ontological modelling method which formally represents domain information in the creation stage. This ontology solves the issues identified by previous research and industry surveys by explicitly modelling the relationships in an access management context between physical built environment assets, IoT devices, cyber-physical systems, current built environment services, existing security standards, digital twin and BIM datasets, as well as user interfaces and the actors who use them The fundamental novelty of this framework is that while previous work has focused on IoT platforms that integrate with BIM, none of these platforms allow seamless integration with BIM models. The need to be able to operate secure servers appears to have been disregarded in efforts to solve access management problems. The access management framework is validated using a case study from Cardiff University achieved validating the semantic representation against the competency questions and on data drawn from existing case studies developed on university buildings. The validation has shown that the final access management framework semantic representation satisfies the defined requirements and is suitable for application in various built environment use cases. Furthermore, its functionality is tested in the specified case study, as is its compatibility with the necessary built-environment principles such as SSO. The key contributions of this study are that it (a) finds the current IoT and CPS security systems to address the access management threats facing digital twins in the context of smart buildings and districts; (b) finds built environment experts to consider their role as a stakeholder and to identify their main concerns; and (c) enhances the access management framework for digital twins in the built environment. Finally, numerous important recommendations are suggested for future research to help overcome the current study’s limitations. These recommendations are designed to stimulate future research in the areas of built environment access management, digital twins, and cyber physical systems

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Building information model (BIM), Internet of things (IoT), Digital Twins (DTs), Access management , Built environment
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 April 2022
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 11:38
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/149123

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