RFIDcover – A Coverage Planning Tool for RFID Networks with Mobile Readers
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) finds use in numerous applications involving item identification and tracking. In a typical application, RFID tags are attached to the items and are periodically queried by readers. Using a fixed placement of readers to guarantee complete coverage of all tags in a given area at all times increases the deployment costs. Also, most practical applications do not need complete coverage at all times. It is enough to provide complete coverage periodically, say each tag being covered every τ seconds. For such applications, using mobile readers to cover the area would be more cost-effective.
Given an area to be covered completely within a period τ, determining the number of mobile readers required, their placement and movement pattern, is a difficult problem. We have developed RFIDcover, an automated coverage planning tool, that addresses this problem. Given an application scenario and reader specifications, RFIDcover determines an optimal number of readers required to guarantee complete coverage within the specified period τ. It also generates a layout giving the placement and movement pattern of the readers. The architecture of RFIDcover is generic and extendible, making it easy to implement different application scenarios. In this paper, we present RFIDcover implementation for a retail inventory tracking application scenario and evaluate its effectiveness.
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