Implementation of Differential Tag Sampling for COTS RFID Systems

Xin Xie, Xiulong Liu, Xibin Zhao, Weilian Xue, Bin Xiao, Heng Qi, Keqiu Li, Jie Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Tag inventory is one of the most fundamental tasks for RFID systems. However, the Framed Slotted Aloha (FSA) protocol specified in the C1G2 standard is of low time-efficiency, because it needs to collect all tags in the system. To improve time-efficiency, research communities proposed a batch of sampling-based approaches, in which the reader only needs to collect a small set of sampled tags instead of all. Although time-efficiency has been improved, existing sampling-based approaches still have two common limitations. First, all tags in the system are assumed to have the same sampling probability. It is unfair that tags attached to differential items (e.g., different values) have the same chance to be sampled and collected. Second, all existing sampling-based approaches stay in theory level and cannot be deployed on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) RFID devices, because the C1G2 standard does not support the sampling function at all. To deal with the above two limitations, this paper studies the new problem of differential tag sampling - letting each RFID tag be identified with a given sampling probability. In this paper, we use the COTS RFID devices including Impinj Speedway R420 reader and Monza 4QT tags to implement the Differential Tag Sampling (DTS) operation. Then, we apply probabilistic analytics on the collected tag data to address some practically important problems such as Multi-category Tag Cardinality Estimation (MTCE), and Value-based Missing Tag Detection (VMTD). Although the analytics results are not 100 percent accurate, the deviation in the results can be controlled below a small threshold and DTS can significantly improve the time-efficiency. DTS can be easily deployed on the COTS RFID systems, because it is totally compliant with the C1G2 standard. Extensive experiments demonstrate that DTS is able to let each tag take the given sampling probability to be sampled and identified. Moreover, the proposed DTS protocol can significantly reduce the execution time of MTCE and VMTD by nearly 70 percent than the FSA protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8718354
Pages (from-to)1848-1861
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • C1G2
  • RFID
  • tag cardinality estimation
  • Tag identification
  • tag sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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