University of Twente Student Theses


Bringing the human factor back in Digital Twins

Gankema, Yvon (2021) Bringing the human factor back in Digital Twins.

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Abstract:To support the life cycle of structures, the civil engineering field is investing in digitization, an important part of industry 4.0. Digitizing is a complex problem due to large amounts of data and the many differences within the field. A new concept of a smart system that aims to solve the challenges in maintenance is a Digital Twin (DT). A DT is a digital entity that reflects its physical entity's behavior. It can be a powerful tool, when designed correctly, to support and optimize its users effciency. Therefore, it is important the DT adapts to the needs of involved stakeholders. The problem is that use cases that help create a DT which can be of most value of its users are yet to be identified. Therefore, Arcadis commissioned this research to define the customer experience of DTs. The aim of this thesis research is to understand what the added value of a modular UI based on user profiles is, for a single DT back-end used for asset management in a civil engineering context. Previous interviews with Arcadis employees resulted in six user profiles, leading to the conclusion that one DT would not be sufficient to support all identified user profiles. An information architecture for a DT that includes the user profiles is formed based on requirements that are developed by applying a Reflexive Thematic Analysis on the resulting interview and observations, and have been tested in an usability study. Additionally, an user study for an immersive technology prototype is developed based on use cases related to inspections and remote collaboration. An important conclusion is the quality of maintenance can be improved when a modular UI in combination with a suitable interaction technology is used for a DT. The objective of this thesis research is to achieve design and implementation of a novel use case for DT in such a way that it is accessible, understandable, useful and offers a good user experience. Leading to the research question ``What is the added value of a DT with a personalized/modular UI to support the user in comparison to a DT with a single UI?"
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Arcadis Nederland B.V., Enschede, Netherlands
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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