Time Efficient Tag Searching in Large-Scale RFID Systems: A Compact Exclusive Validation Method

Xuan Liu, Jiangjin Yin, Jia Liu, Shigeng Zhang, Bin Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


RFID technology has been widely applied in a range of applications such as inventory control, warehouse management and supply chain logistics. Many practical applications need to search a given set of tags (called wanted tags) to determine which of them are present in the system, which is usually called tag searching. Existing tag searching protocols suffer performance bottleneck and the time efficiency and need to be improved. The bottleneck stems from two factors. First, the existing methods validate the wanted tags in a random way due to the randomness of the hash function, which unavoidably generate many useless slots. Second, in order to achieve the predefined reliability requirement, the existing methods have to repeatedly validate target tags multiple times. In this paper, we design new tag searching techniques of compact exclusive validation that break through the existing performance bottleneck from two aspects. First, our protocols avoid slot waste. Different from random tag validation, our protocols validate tags orderly by mapping the wanted tags and the slots in a one-to-one manner, which makes the reader be able to validate tags in every slot. Second, our protocols avoid repeated tag responding. By combining two lightweight indicators, we rapidly filter out non-wanted tags so that there is no interference when validating the wanted tags. Hence, we need to validate each wanted tag only once, which avoids redundant validation and greatly improves time efficiency. Our protocols work with the assumption that the rough number of tags in the system can be obtained by using existing estimation algorithms, but they do not need to know exactly which tags are in the system. Theoretical analysis illustrates our methods achieve linear time complexity. Extensive experimental results show that, our best protocol can improve the time efficiency by up to 81 percent when compared with the-state-of-art solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1491
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • radio frequency identification (RFID) systems
  • tag searching
  • Time efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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