Research on Frame-Aloha Protocols for RFID at Politecnico di Milano

January 19, 2012
Interschool Lab, CEPSR
Hosted by: Columbia EE/CS Networking Seminar
Speaker: Flaminio Borgonovo, Doctor (Politecnico di Milano)


Frame Aloha, a well-known multiple-access protocol dating back to early 1980's, has become the base of many proposals and standards for the tag identification procedure in RFID. As a multiple access protocol, its throughput has been shown to reach 0.427, still considerably less than the performance allowed by the alternative family of Tree Protocols that can reach 0.487 using the well-known Gallager-Tzybakov algorithm. The RFID environment, however, presents differences that call for new analyses. The protocol operation is centralized rather than distributed and this favors F-Aloha. The number of tags to be identified is no longer a Poisson RV, but rather a constant that is often very large. In this talk, we present some results attained lately at the Politecnico di Milano. In particular, we have investigated the asymptotic efficiency of existing protocols and shown that it is always inferior to theoretical value 0.387. We also have devised a new estimation technique completely compatible with the existing standard that reaches the asymptotic theoretical value. A slight modification of F-Aloha, the Partitioned F-Aloha, can be shown to reach the same performance (0.427) in RFID that is attained by F-Aloha in multiple access. Better tag estimation mechanisms can raise the efficiency up to 0.469, a figure very close to the efficiency achievable with Gallager-Tzybakov.

Speaker Biography

Flaminio Borgonovo received the Doctorate in Electronic Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1971. In 1973, after a two-years period as research assistant at the Laboratory of Electrical Communications of the Politecnico, he joined the Italian National Research Council (CNR), where he started research activities in the field of multiple-access and Local Area Networks. In 1979, he became Associate Professor of Theory of Stochastic Processes at the Electronics Department of the Politecnico di Milano, where he was active in proposing and prototyping new Local-Area access schemes. In 1990, he won a full-professor position at the Università di Catania. He is currently Full Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, where he teaches courses on Electrical Communications and Telecommunications Networks.

Dr. Borgonovo has been active in the field of data communication research, where he has investigated the mutiple access problem, collaborating with Italian oveseas universities such as Stanford University and UCLA. He has proposed, prototyped, and patented Local and Metropolitan Area Network schemes. In particular, he has proposed and developed a network prototype based on the Deflection Routing principle which anticipated the Gigabit/s performance of nowadays LANs. His current research is focused on third and forth generation wireless cellular systems, with proposals for multiple access, channel reuse schemes and dynamic allocation techniques. He has also proposed a new technique for reserving network resources in the IP telephony context.

Professionally, Dr. Borgonovo has served as consultant for the planning and the deployment of private telecommunication networks for both data and voice traffic and has been chairman of a commission for supervising the planning and the deployment of the  telecommunication network of the Politecnico di Milano, which spans over a wide geographical area. He is also active in teaching courses on IP telephony.

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