Category Information Collection in RFID Systems
Jia Liu, Shigang Chen, Bin Xiao, Yanyan Wang and Lijun Chen
Nanjing University, University of Florida, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Nanjing University, Nanjing University

In RFID-enabled applications, when a tag is put into use and associated with a specific object, the category-related information (e.g., the brands of clothes) about this object might be preloaded into the tag’s memory as required. Since such information reflects the category attributes, all tags in the same category carry the identical category information. To collect this information, we do not need to repeatedly interrogate each tag; one tag’s response in a category is sufficient. In this paper, we investigate the problem of category information collection in a multi-category RFID system, which is referred to as information sampling. We propose two time-efficiency protocols. The first is a two-phase sampling protocol (TPS) that works in the case of knowing tag IDs. By quickly zooming into a category and isolating a tag from this category, TPS is able to sample a category by broadcasting only 7.5-bit polling information (very efficient when compared to the 96-bit tag ID). The second protocol, back-and-forth sampling protocol (BFS), relaxes the assumption in TPS and achieves the sampling task with no need of tag IDs and category IDs. By carrying out a step-forward frame and using the step-backward scheme, BFS is able to interrogate only 1.45 tags (close to the lower bound of one tag) on average for each category. We theoretically analyze the protocol performance of TPS and BFS, and discuss the optimal parameter settings that minimize the overall execution time. Extensive simulations show that the both protocols outperform the benchmark, greatly improving the sampling performance.