Efficient Polling-Based Information Collection in RFID Systems

Jia Liu, Bin Xiao, Xuan Liu, Kai Bu, Lijun Chen, Changhai Nie

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


RFID tags have been widely deployed to report valuable information about tagged objects or surrounding environment. To collect such information, the key is to avoid the tag-to-tag collision in the open wireless channel. Polling, as a widely used anti-collision protocol, provides a request-response way to interrogate tags. The basic polling however needs to broadcast the tedious tag ID (96 bits) to query a tag, which is time-consuming. For example, collecting only 1-bit information (e.g., battery status) but with 96-bit overhead is a great limitation. This paper studies how to design efficient polling protocols to collect tag information quickly. The basic idea is to minimize the length of the polling vector as well as to avoid useless communication. We first propose an efficient Hash polling protocol (HPP) that uses hash indices rather than tag IDs as the polling vector to query each tag. The length of the polling vector is dropped from 96 bits to no more than 16 bits (the number of tags is less than 100,000). We then propose a tree-based polling protocol (TPP) that avoids redundant transmission in HPP. By constructing a binary polling tree, TPP transmits only different postfix of the neighbor polling vectors; the same prefix is reserved without any retransmission. The result is that the length of the polling vector reduces to only 3.4 bits. Finally, we propose an incremental polling protocol (IPP) that updates the polling vector based on the difference in value between the current polling vector and the previous one. By sorting the indices and dynamically updating them, IPP drops the polling vector to 1.6 bits long, 60 times less than 96-bit IDs. Extensive simulation results show that our best protocol IPP outperforms the state-of-the-art information collection protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8688626
Pages (from-to)948-961
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • information collection
  • polling
  • RFID

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this