TMS-RFID: Temporal management of large-scale RFID applications

Xue Li, Jing Liu, Quan Z. Sheng, Sherali Zeadally, Weicai Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In coming years, there will be billions of RFID tags living in the world tagging almost everything for tracking and identification purposes. This phenomenon will impose a new challenge not only to the network capacity but also to the scalability of event processing of RFID applications. Since most RFID applications are time sensitive, we propose a notion of Time To Live (TTL), representing the period of time that an RFID event can legally live in an RFID data management system, to manage various temporal event patterns. TTL is critical in the "Internet of Things" for handling a tremendous amount of partial event-tracking results. Also, TTL can be used to provide prompt responses to time-critical events so that the RFID data streams can be handled timely. We divide TTL into four categories according to the general event-handling patterns. Moreover, to extract event sequence from an unordered event stream correctly and handle TTL constrained event sequence effectively, we design a new data structure, namely Double Level Sequence Instance List (DLSIList), to record intermediate stages of event sequences. On the basis of this, an RFID data management system, namely Temporal Management System over RFID data streams (TMS-RFID), has been developed. This system can be constructed as a stand-alone middleware component to manage temporal event patterns. We demonstrate the effectiveness of TMS-RFID on extracting complex temporal event patterns through a detailed performance study using a range of high-speed data streams and various queries. The results show that TMS-RFID has a very high throughput, namely 170,000-870,000 events per second for different highly complex continuous queries. Moreover, the experiments also show that the main structure to record the intermediate stages in TMS-RFID does not increase exponentially with the number of events. These results demonstrate that TMS-RFID not only supports high processing speeds, but is also highly scalable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-500
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • RFID data management
  • RFID event processing
  • TTL
  • Unordered event stream

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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