Efficient misplaced-tag pinpointing in large RFID systems

Kai Bu, Bin Xiao, Qingjun Xiao, Shigang Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology brings many innovative applications. Of great importance to RFID applications in production economics is misplaced-tag pinpointing (MTP), because misplacement errors fail optimal inventory placement and thus significantly decrease profit. The existing MTP solution [1], originally proposed from a data-processing perspective, collects and processes a large amount of data. It suffers from time inefficiency (and energy-inefficiency as well if active tags are in use). The problem of finding efficient solutions for the MTP problem from the communication protocol design perspective has never been investigated before. In this paper, we propose a series of protocols toward efficient MTP solutions in large RFID systems. The proposed protocols detect misplaced tags using reader positions instead of tag positions to guarantee the efficiency and scalability as system scale grows, because RFID readers are much fewer than tags. Considering applications that employ active tags, we further propose a solution requiring responses from only a subset of tags in favor of energy saving. We also design a distributed protocol that enables each reader to independently detect misplaced tags. We then investigate how to apply the proposed protocols in scenarios with tag mobility. To evaluate the proposed protocols, we analyze their optimal performances to demonstrate their efficiency potential and also conduct extensive simulation experiments. The results show that the proposed protocols can significantly increase the time efficiency and the energy efficiency by over 70 percent on average when compared with the best existing work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6143928
Pages (from-to)2094-2106
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2012


  • distributed protocol
  • energy-efficient
  • misplaced-tag pinpointing
  • RFID
  • time-efficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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