Bus management system using rfid


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Bus management system using rfid

  1. 1. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAE Bus Management System Using RFID In WSNBen Ammar Hatem, Faculty of Engineering, University of Moncton, NB,Canada,ehb7342@umoncton.caHamam Habib Faculty of Engineering, University of Moncton, NB, Canada, habib.hamam@umoncton.caAbstract In this paper we present a novel approach to integrate RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification)in WSN (Wireless sensor network). WSN is used to support RFID identification process byextending the read range of an RFID system. Besides, by the use of the WSN we can monitor theenvironment of an object and optimize RFID reader’s performance and energy. Then,methodology to integrate RFID technology, wireless sensor network to form an intelligent bustracking application is studied. The proposed system can monitor bus traffic inside spacious busstations, and can inform administrators whether the bus is arriving on time, early or late. Thisinformation is then displayed on the different wireless displays inside and outside the bus station. Keywords: RFID, WSN, Zigbee, integration, tracking, buses1. INTRODUCTIONNowadays, travel time information becomes a major component of Advanced TravelerInformation System (ATIS) [1]. The travel time of buses varies depending on several externalparameters such as traffic, snow and accidents. In fact, buses are stuck in traffic and are thushampered by the passage of junctions. This makes the management of the bus schedule in the busstations a difficult task. Most bus station follows fixed schedules, and don’t uses intelligentsystems for vehicle tracking and control. Many supervisors are deployed at the station to controlthe entrance and the exit of buses and prepare the trip sheets containing the schedules manuallywhich is time consuming and inaccurate. Moreover, transport departments have no visibility overutilization of its fleet on real-time, which results in underutilization of resources. So, all thesenaturally results in avoidable stress, costly errors and sub cost optimal fleet utilization and finallydissatisfaction and inconvenience to millions of commuters. The provision of timely and accuratetransit travel time information is so important. New technology can help the administrator tomonitor the buses traffic while increasing the satisfaction of transit users and reducing costthrough efficient operations asset utilization. Well-known examples of identification technologiesinclude Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) and Global Positioning System (GPS). CCTV can bedeployed at each entrance gate and image processing techniques can be utilized to identify thearrival of buses [2, 3], where image recognition was performed to detect the bus in the traffic.Results from this testing has shown poor performance in tracking based detection (~20%precision). During the past, GPS integrated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was usedto monitor buses traffic [4]. GPS receiver communicates with at least 4 satellites before giving theposition of the bus. It gives a very good precision; however, line of sight between the receiver andthe satellites is required otherwise the GPS signal is attenuated. This is a main limitation of thistechnology especially when it comes to monitor bus traffic inside an underground bus station.Hatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 1
  2. 2. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAEDue to the limitation of these technologies, RFID can be used to track buses. This technology canbe effectively applied for real-time tracking and identification [5]. RFID was developed in the1940s by the US department of defense (DoD) which used transponders to differentiate betweenfriendly and enemy aircrafts [6]. Since this time, RFID technology has been evolving to changethe way people live and work. Many previous research projects have explored the possibility ofintegrating RFID in different areas, from toll collection [7], agriculture [8], access control [9],supply chain [10], logistics [11], healthcare [12], and library [13]. RFID technology can responseto our tracking needs that’s why we used RFID in our design to identify buses entering andleaving the bus station. In this context, this paper presents the developments and the results of aresearch project on bus tracking based on the use of RFID technology and WSN. These twotechniques are combined to support identification process by extending the read range of an RFIDsystem and improving its performance.2. RESARCH METHODThe main idea of our research is to integrate RFID technology and WSN to build an intelligentbus tracking system. Two scenarios of integration have been implemented. In the first one, wehave extended the read range of the RFID system by adding wireless facility to RFID readers.Each RFID reader is equipped with a wireless module which can transmit data to and from thereader. RFID reader acts as sensor node: it reads the identification of an object and sends it to thehost application via an ad-hoc network. The second scenario of integration provides RFID readerswith sensing ability. Several motion sensors are installed near each reader to detect the presenceof a tagged object and to command the reader activity. This approach is tested through anapplication which can track buses traffic in the bus station. When designing this system, thefollowing constraints have been considered: - Modularity and expandability constraints: the system must be modular in design. Both hardware and software should be divided into small components or modules to ensure easy scalability for further feature expansions. Modules must be produced independently from each other, so that changes or the crash of one module cannot affect the other ones. - Economic constraint: We should take into account performance to cost ratio so as to design a cost-effective solution - Environmental constraint: In our design and implementation, we should keep in mind the impact on environment. Low power consumption devices should be used to keep the power of the system very low. Energy optimization should be involved in all the design’s steps.3. RFID TECHNOLOGYTraditional RFID system consists of three main components (Figure 1): Figure 1: General RFID architectureHatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 2
  3. 3. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAE - RFID Reader: sends an electromagnetic wave which carries a signal to identify objects. Then, the reader receives the information returned back by these objects. - RFID tag: attached to these objects, reacts to receiving the signal sent by the reader in order to forwarding to it the requested information. - A computer/database: stores and processes information collected by the reader.Traditional RFID readers are imitated in their mobility and their potential applications they areusually connected to the host application via a serial port or via Ethernet.4. INTEGRATION OF RFID AND WSN4.1 Wireless Sensor NetworkInstalling cables to ensure communication between RFID readers and the host application is verychallenging especially in spacious space. Also replacing defective wiring can be extremelydifficult and more costly compared to wireless communication. To address these issues, wepropose to connect wirelessly RFID reader to the host application. There are many wirelesstechnologies that can be used such as Bluetooth (802.15.3) and ZigBee (802.15.4) to extend therange of an RFID reader.Bluetooth has been standardized by IEEE 802.4.15. It allows the creation and maintenance ofshort range Personal Area Network (PAN). Bluetooth transfers data at the rate of 1 Mbps, therange of Bluetooth device is about 10 meters. The main defect of this technique is its high energyconsumption and therefore cannot be used by sensors that are powered by a battery.IEEE 802.15.4/Zigbee standard [14] offers even better features that meet the needs of WSNs interms of energy saving. While ZigBee offers lower data rates it consumes much less thanBluetooth. A low data rate does not handicap our wireless network where the operation frequencyis low. Besides, one of the main advantages of ZigBee is its ability to "mesh". Mesh networksenable messages travelling from node to node and arrive to their destination even if one nodefails. It also provides easy maintenance, and can cover large areas [15]. This makes ZigBee anexcellent choice for our WSN. Moreover, the low cost allows the technology to be deployed atvarious spot in the bus station to ensure a reliable data transmission. Xbee PRO serie 1 modulehas been selected. It is characterized by a range of 10 to several hundred meters and a speed of 20to 250 kbit/s4.2 Sensing the environment of the reader4.2 Sensing the environment of the readerThe RFID reader is always inactive. Once a labelled object approaches to the reader, the firstmotion sensor detects its movement and an event is sent to the software application via a Zigbeemodule by using UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver and Transmitter). The event ishandled by the RFID middleware and a command is sent back to the RFID reader to enter in theread mode. Then, the RFID reader reads RFID tag attached to the object and sends itsidentification (ID) to a Zigbee module which will relay it to the central computer. Once the objectpasses the second sensor, the reading is stopped and the reader returns to the idle mode (figure 2).Alien ALR-9800 RFID reader has been chosen in our implementation. It provides a flexiblegeneral-purpose input-output (GPIO) system which enables tight integration with externalsensors. Two motion sensors has been wirelessly connected to the reader’s GPIO to detect thepresence of an object. The AMN1 motion sensor was selected because it provides a betterdetection range (5m). Motion sensors are accessed by the RFID middleware (which isHatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 3
  4. 4. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAEimplemented in the host application) and are used to control the reader activity and to optimize itsenergy. RFID Reader host application Motion sensor 1 Motion sensor 2 GPIO UART Usb / RS232 Zigbee module Zigbee module Zigbee module Zigbee module (End device) (End device) (End device) (coordinator) 1 : object detected 1 : GPIO event 1 : Start reading 1 : object detected 1 : GPIO event 1 : Stop reading Figure 2. Reader’s energy optimization5. BUS MANAGMENT SOLUTIONOur aim was to develop a real-time schedule tracker system which can inform administratorswhether the bus is running on time, ahead or behind schedule. This information is then displayedon different displays at the bus station to offer better services to the passengers. It also givesoperator the opportunity to make dynamic changes to the schedule time so he/she can optimizethe utilization of its fleet (buses). To enable such automation in the bus station it is necessary toidentify the arriving and departing buses. In this section, we present system architecture tomonitor buses traffic, integrating WSN and RFID.5.1 Design approachEntrance and exit doors are equipped with an RFID reader, antennas and motion sensors. Eachbus has a UHF tag, which is applied inside the windshield. With this system, we can monitor thebuses traffic in real-time and without human intervention. Each time, a bus enters or exits thestation, the RFID reader sends its identification to the central computer where the event isdisplayed on a Map. So the supervisor no longer needs to move on place to check the arrival ofbus.Besides, this system provides a dynamic display inside and outside the station. It advertisescustomers to move outside the station to check the arrival of the bus. Each quay (bus stop) isequipped with a display which is connected wirelessly to a control station. A software applicationon the control station keeps track of the entrance and the exit of buses and updates the displaysrelated to those buses with helpful information.Figure 3 shows the main components of our system.Hatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 4
  5. 5. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAE Led Matrix display in the waiting room Timer Database Entrance gate Antennas Central Computer Wireless Sensor Motion RFID Reader Netowrk sensor UHF tag Exit gateQuay display Figure 3. Bus station schedule management solution using RFID and WSN Displays are used to provide passenger with real-time information about buses such as time remaining and the next trip. They must be deployed on each quay in the bus station and must ensure effective display of information. LCD and LED technology could be used. LCD displays provide powerful display capability with up to 16 million colors but they are typically higher cost than LED based displays. As we are limited to displaying simple alpha numeric characters, LED display has been selected. We choose UHF Gen2 (Ultra High Frequency generation 2) RFID which operates between 860MHz to 960MHz bandwidth [16]. UHF is better suited for reading tag attached to buses. It uses backscatter technique to communicate with the tag and provides higher read range compared to HF and LF technology. In our design, we used Alien circular antenna to read RFID tags regardless of orientation. Two antennas are used in each gate, to communicate with tags. One ensures the emission of energy to the tag and the other receives energy back from the tag. 5.2 Software contribution Bus station schedule management software application eliminates any human involvement. It dynamically manages the time table and bus dispatch for optimum ride ship. It wirelessly controls Hatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam. Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 5
  6. 6. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAEdisplays and can also generate auto statistic report. It will automatically alert administrator in caseof any bus’s late arrival. The software includes six modules: Wireless Sensor NetworkCommunication, WSN Middleware, RFID Middleware, Display Management, DatabaseInterface, and User Interface. Figure 4 shows the architecture of our software. Dynamic Graphique User interface Database XML interface interface Application code DB description Inside Displays RFID Middleware Display Management Quay Displays Wireless Sensor Network Middleware Wireless Sensor Network Communication Figure 4. Architecture of the RFID based Schedule bus management softwareThe Wireless Sensor Network Communication layer implements Zigbee API communicationprotocols which encode/decode data in a formatted packet and supports data buffering, overflowand transition error control. The API mode is then used to identify the packet’s origin and todetect packet loss. Wireless remote configuration is also permitted by this mode so we canremotely manage our network to ensure best operation.The Wireless Sensor Network Middleware allows our application to communicate with differenttypes of wireless devices. It serves as a gateway between the application and hardware devicesand it is responsible for delivering all Zigbee traffic to the application. Displays and readerscommunicate with the WSN middleware to deliver data to and from the application.An RFID middleware manages RFID readers and accesses to their GPIO. It also managesreceived data from RFID readers by filtering and transforming them into useful data. Byimplementing the RFID middleware, management and the configuration of RFID devices areseparated from the application.The database contains general information about buses and range of RFID identification numbersreferred to them. The database stores also different information about displays and Zigbeemodules. Each display is identified by an ID number queried by the microcontroller whichconstitutes the Display’s processor. Zigbee transceivers are identified by their MAC addresses(64bit number). The database interface provides access to the data using SQL (structured queryLanguage) and enables the data to be easily presented.Display management module for the update and the configuration of remote displays using XMLschema.Hatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 6
  7. 7. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAE6. CONCLUSIONRFID reader integrated with WSN will benefit from communications and sensing capabilities.The integration of the RFID and WSN will facilitate the extension of an RFID networkeliminating the need the need of wired installation while reducing cost and saving time. The mixof these two promoting technologies has been explored in this article to provide a smart solutionmanaging the bus schedule in the bus stations and offering helpful information to passengers. It isbelieved that by the implementation of this system, problems such as underutilization of busesfleet and long waiting time at the bus station will be reduced. So, both passenger and bus stationadministrators will benefit from the system as real time information are provided. It is expectedthat integration of RFID and WSN will provide new opportunities for applications related to theidentification of object over a large area. Possible applications of RFID with wireless capabilityinclude parking solution, agriculture and forklift trucks in the supply chain. References[1] Ran Hee Jeong, and Laurence R. Rilett (2004) “The Prediction of Bus Arrival Time UsingAVL Data”, Transportation Research Board 83rd Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.[2] Mark Cracknell ( 2007) “Image detection in the real world ” , Intelligent TransportationSystems ITS’07 Aalborg.[3] Mark Cracknell (2008) “Image detection in the real world ” , Intelligent TransportationSystems World Congress ITS WC 2008, New York.[4] Qing-Jie Kong, Yikai Chen, and Yuncai Liu,(2009) "A fusion-based system for road-networktraffic state surveillance: a case study of shanghai," IEEE Intelligent Transportation SystemsMagazine, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 37-42, [5] Sheng, Q.Z., Li, X. and Zeadally, S. (2008) “Enabling Next-Generation RFID Applications:Solutions and Challenges”, IEEE Computer, Vol 41 No 9, pp 21-28, [6] Ollivier M., (1995) “RFID- a new solution technology for security problems”, EuropeanConvention on Security and Detection, 408, pp. 234-238.[7] Jae-Bong Yoo, Byung-Ki Kim, Ho-Min Jung, Taewan Gu, Chan-Young Park, Young-WoongKo. (2008) “Design and Implementation of Safe & Intelligent Bridges System Based on ALE-Compliant RFID Middleware in USN”, Fifth Internationnal Conference on Computer Science,Rome, Italy, Vol 2 No 2.[8] Athanasios S. Voulodimos, Charalampos Z. Patrikakis, Alexander B. Sideridis, Vasileios A.Ntafis, Eftychia M. Xylouri (2009) “A complete farm management system based on animalidentification using RFID technology”, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture.[9] Valentin POPA, Cristina TURCU, Vasile GAITAN, Cornel TURCU, Remus PRODAN.(2006). “Optimizing Campus Access and Services Using RFID Solutions”. The 8-th InternationalConference on Development and Application Systems, pg. 228-233, ISBN (10)973-666-194-6,Suceava, Romania.[10] Goebel, C.; Tribowski, C.; Günther, O.; Troeger, R.; Nickerl, R ( 2009) ”RFID in the SupplyChain: How to Obtain a Positive ROI - The Case of Gerry Weber”, Proceedings of the 11thInternational Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2009), Vol. InformationSystems Analysis and Specification, pp. 95-102, Milan, Italy,[11] Werner, K., Schill, A ( 2009) “Automatic Monitoring of Logistics Processes UsingDistributed RFID based Event Data”, 3rd International Workshop on RFID Technology 2009 -Concepts, Applications, Challenges (IWRT 2009), Milan, ItalyHatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 7
  8. 8. European and Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems 2010 (EMCIS2010) April 12-13 2009, Abu Dhabi, UAE[12] Lewis, M, Sankaranarayanan, B, Rai, A ( 2009) "RFID-Enabled Process Capabilities andTheir Impacts on Healthcare Process Performance: A Multi-level Analysis," in EuropeanConference on Information Systems,[13] Fennani, and H. Hamam (2008) “An Optimized RFID-Based Academic Library”,SensorComm 2008, The Second International Conference on Sensor technologies andApplications, Vol 2008, 44-48.[14] ZigBee Alliance, ZigBee Specification, ZigBee Document 053474r06, version 1.0, 2005.[15] P. Brennan, S. Daugherty, A. Hughes and S. Vemuru (2008) “Designing a WirelessPersonnel Tracking System”, ASEE NCS Conference Agenda.[16] EPCglobal Specification for RFID Air Interface, "Radio-frequency identity protocols class-1generation-2 UHF RFID protocol for communications at 860 MHz - 960 MHz," version 1.0.9,Jan. 2005.Hatem Ben Ammar and Habib Hamam.Bus Management System Using RFID In WSN 8