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One of the major challenges in the use of Radio Frequency-based Identification (RFID) on a large scale is the ability to read a large number of tags quickly. Central to solving this problem is resolving collisions that occur when multiple tags reply to the query of a reader. To this purpose, several MAC protocols for passive RFID systems have been proposed. These typically build on traditional MAC schemes, such as aloha and tree-based protocols. In this paper, we propose a new performance metric by which to judge these anticollision protocols: time system efficiency. This metric provides a direct measure of the time taken to read a group of tags. We then evaluate a set of well-known RFID MAC protocols in light of this metric. Based on the insights gained, we propose a new anticollision protocol, and show that it significantly outperforms previously proposed mechanisms.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011