Counting RFID Tags Efficiently and Anonymously

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Executive Summary

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has attracted much attention due to its variety of applications, e.g., inventory control and object tracking. One important problem in RFID systems is how to quickly estimate the number of distinct tags without reading each tag individually. This problem plays a crucial role in many real-time monitoring and privacy-preserving applications. In this paper, the authors present an efficient and anonymous scheme for tag population estimation. This scheme leverages the position of the first reply from a group of tags in a frame. Results from mathematical analysis and extensive simulation demonstrate that the scheme outperforms other protocols proposed in the previous work.

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