Key Concepts

New to IOTICS? Or just after a refresher? This page takes a high level look at some of the key concepts of IOTICS. We are also working on providing in depth white paper style pages on topics, you can find these linked in the description where available.

Brush up on these concepts:

Or take a look at some of our more in depth pages on these concepts:



Digital Twins


What is an IOTICS Digital Twin?

An IOTICS Digital Twin is a virtual representation in IOTICS of a real entity. An entity can be a physical device, a person, a data source, a database, whatever is “real” for the domain.

An IOTICS Digital Twin is made of five parts:

  1. Its IOTICS unique Identity
  2. Metadata Properties
  3. Relationship Properties
  4. Streaming Data Feeds
  5. Behaviour

In practice this means that to create a twin in IOTICS you just:

  • Create its identity
  • Define a model representing the twin properties, feeds and controls
  • Build a program that makes the twin in IOTICS and manages the interaction with the real world

For more details, including how to create them, go to Digital Twins

Visibility and Accessibility

The owner of an IOTICSpace is in control of all its Digital Twins, and therefore of all the data stored and streaming through them. Owners can decide to make their twins visible (or not) and to share (or not) data with all, none, or a select number of parties and, by extension, join one or more data ecosystems or consortia. For more details please see Selective Data Sharing.



IOTICSpace


In IOTICS, each party has its own IOTICSpace, which together form a data ecosystem. Your Digital Twins “live” and are stored within your own IOTICSpace and can publish and exchange data with other Digital Twins in your own or others' IOTICSpaces.

Each IOTICSpace comes fully deployed and set up on the IOTICS Cloud. The ecosystem is built on a decentralized infrastructure, so each IOTICSpace is deployed on its own and data separation is guaranteed. Each IOTICSpace also presents its own API. For more technical information go to IOTICSpace.



Connectors


Connectors are the generic term we use for applications that manage one or more twin agents. The name is a reference to the fact that these applications typically connect the external world to IOTICS. Designing and building connectors is an important part of IOTICS, and will help you to connect your world easily.

Connectors that normally only ingest data into IOTICS are refered to as integrators or publishers while connectors that only extract data off IOTICS are referred to as followers. Connectors that do both and also apply some transformation logic are addressed loosely as synthesisers.

Difference between connectors and agents

A connector is just the application while an agent has an IOTICS Decentralized Identity.

You may choose to use a single agent identity for a connector that manages multiple twins or choose to use different agent credentials, up to one per twin.

In other words, an agent is a connector with an identity and a connector is one or more agents.

IOTICS sees connectors as agents and the word connector generally refers to an application.



Users, Agents, and Twin identity


In IOTICS users, agents and twins are uniquely identified using W3C DIDs. It is responsibility of the application owner to make and manage these IDs.

The IOTICS Identity SDK is used to manufacture the IDs and register them in IOTICS so that authentication and authorisation can be achieved.

The decentralised nature of the IOTICS concept and middleware fits very well with the concept of DID and IOTICS Implements the necessary crypto verifications to prove ownership of a private key.



Decentralized Identity Documents


Decentralized Identity Documents (DID) is the way that IOTICS handles credentials, building on W3C's decentralized ID standard.

DIDs are an emerging effort for establishing a standard for self-sovereign digital identities from the W3C Credentials Community Group. They provide entities with a means to self-manage cryptographic key material and other metadata about their identity. This data can be used to authenticate an entity to third parties or to request authorisation for access to a given resource.

You can learn more by reading our Decentralized Identity Documents page.



Security by Design


The secure flow of data has been a guiding principle since the very beginning of IOTICS, and we are proud of our “Security by Design” principles. These principles are:

  • Reduce attack surface
  • Reduce attack vectors
  • Increase resilience and scalability
  • Make provenance verifiable
  • Mitigate against stolen credentials

You can read more about these principles by reading our Security by Design page.



FAIR Data


FAIR Data is a set of principles applied to data to make it:

  • Findable: based on common, human readable language that is independent of standards, silos and constraints (semantics)
  • Accessible: both within and without company boundaries, as an overlay on top of existing infrastructure without re-architecting existing systems
  • Interoperable: a safe space for secure and trusted data sharing, creating a true data ecosystem that you control what can and cannot be shared
  • Reusable: integrate data only once then easily share all or part of your data with trusted parties, removing the need for traditional point-to-point integrations and centralised data storage

You can read more about how we use these principles by reading our FAIR Data page.

And you can read about the origins of FAIR data at the Go Fair website.


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