On the Short-Term Feasibility of using RFID in Realizing Ambient-Intelligence in Indian Homes

M.B. Mariappan, M.S. Ambasamudram Sailappan, M. Chidambaram, and R.V. Uthariaraj (India)


Ambient-intelligence, probabilistic fuzzy-logic, RFID sensing, home networks, ubiquitous computing.


We present our research findings on the practicality of using RFID for building context-aware homes in India. Our research is the result of an endeavor to bring this global trend of smart homes to India. Rather than studying the effects of such an influence in its original form— building smart homes equipped with such high-end sensors as real-time, audio-video sensing, and sophisticated, environmental sensors as are popular in a typical smart home—we studied the viability of realizing ambient-intelligence using simple, low-cost, and robust RFID sensors, which we believe would be suitable to Indian dwellings in the near future. We describe the learning and prediction algorithm used in our study; we modeled time as fuzzy-sets and used Markov model for predicting the future locations of inhabitants wearing RFID bracelets. Our system provides context-aware reactive and proactive services. We modeled the uncertainties—involved in inferring users’ activities from their location information—using Bayesian Belief Networks or BBNs. This improved the accuracy of prediction considerably. Our experience showed that it is possible to develop cost-effective, easily deployable, context-aware homes using only RFID in India in the short-term before high-end sensing technologies mature and become commercially affordable in the longer run.

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