RCSMA : receiver-based carrier sense multiple access in UHF RFID systems

Lei KANG, Jin ZHANG, Kaishun WU, Dian ZHANG, Lionel NI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


RFID tag identification is a crucial problem in UHF RFID systems. Traditional tag identification algorithms can be classified into two categories, ALOHA-based and tree-based. Both of them are inefficient due to the incidental high coordination cost. In this paper, we bring CSMA into UHF RFID systems to enhance tag read rate by reducing coordination cost. However, it is not straightforward due to the simple hardware design of passive RFID tags, which is unable to sense the transmissions or collisions of other tags. To tackle this challenge, we propose receiver-based CSMA (RCSMA) in this paper. In RCSMA, the reader notifies the tags channel condition. According to different sensing results of reader's notifications, the tags take corresponding actions, e.g., random back off. RCSMA does not require special RFID tag hardware design. An absorbing Markov chain model is presented to analyze the performance of RCSMA and shown to be consistent with the simulation results. Compared with optimized ALOHA-based algorithms and optimized tree-based algorithms, RCSMA can enhance the tag read rate by 30-70 percent under different reader and tag data rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-743
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • CSMA
  • RFID systems
  • tag identification


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