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RF-care: Device-free posture recognition for elderly people using a passive RFID tag array

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  • Lina Yao
  • Quan Z. Sheng
  • Wenjie Ruan
  • Tao Gu
  • Xue Li
  • Nickolas J.G. Falkner
  • Zhi Yang


Activity recognition is a fundamental research topic for a wide range of important applications such as fall detection for elderly people. Existing techniques mainly rely on wearable sensors, which may not be reliable and practical in real-world situations since people often forget to wear these sensors. For this reason, device-free activity recognition has gained the popularity in recent years. In this paper, we propose an RFID (radio frequency identification) based, device-free posture recognition system. More specifically, we analyze Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) signal patterns from an RFID tag array, and systematically examine the impact of tag configuration on system performance. On top of selected optimal subset of tags, we study the challenges on posture recognition. Apart from exploring posture classification, we specially propose to infer posture transitions via Dirichlet Process Gaussian Mixture Model (DPGMM) based Hidden Markov Model (HMM), which effectively captures the nature of uncertainty caused by signal strength varieties during posture transitions. We run a pilot study to evaluate our system with 12 orientation-sensitive postures and a series of posture change sequences. We conduct extensive experiments in both lab and real-life home environments. The results demonstrate that our system achieves high accuracy in both environments, which holds the potential to support assisted living of elderly people.