Revisiting reading rate with mobility: Rate-adaptive reading in COTS RFID systems

Qiongzheng Lin, Lei Yang, Huanyu Jia, Chunhui Duan, Yunhao Liu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Publication rights licensed to Association for Computing Machinery. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems, as major enablers of automatic identification, are currently supplemented with various interesting sensing functions, e.g., motion tracking. All these sensing applications forcedly require much higher reading rate (i.e., sampling rate) such that any fast movement of tagged objects can be accurately captured in a timely manner through tag readings. However, COTS RFID systems suffer from an extremely low individual reading rate when multiple tags are present, due to their intense channel contention in the link layer. In this work, we present a holistic system, called Tagwatch, a rate-adaptive reading system for COTS RFID devices. This work revisits the reading rate from a distinctive perspective: mobility. We observe that the reading demands of mobile tags are considerably more urgent than those of stationary tags because the states of the latter nearly remain unchanged; meanwhile, only a few tags (e.g., < 20%) are actually in motion despite the existence of a massive amount of tags in practice. Thus, Tagwatch adaptively improves the reading rates for mobile tags by cutting down the readings of stationary tags. Our main contribution is a two-phase reading design, wherein the mobile tags are discriminated in the Phase I and exclusively read in the Phase II. We built a prototype of Tagwatch with COTS RFID readers and tags. Results from our microbenchmark analysis demonstrate that the new design outperforms the reading rate by 3.2x when 5% of tags are moving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoNEXT 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 13th International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450354226
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017
Event13th International Conference on Emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, CoNEXT 2017 - Incheon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 12 Dec 201715 Dec 2017


Conference13th International Conference on Emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, CoNEXT 2017
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • Epcglobal gen2
  • Rate-adaptive reading
  • RFID
  • Tagwatch
  • Two-phase protocol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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