The RSI is classified as a momentum oscillator, measuring the velocity and magnitude of price movements. Momentum is the rate of the rise or fall in price. The relative strength RS is given as the ratio of higher closes to lower closes, with closes here meaning averages of absolute values of price changes. The RSI computes momentum as the ratio of higher closes to overall closes: stocks which have had more or stronger positive changes have a higher RSI than stocks which have had more or stronger negative changes.
The RSI is most typically used on a 14-day timeframe, measured on a scale from 0 to 100, with high and low levels marked at 70 and 30, respectively. Short or longer timeframes are used for alternately shorter or longer outlooks. High and low levels—80 and 20, or 90 and 10—occur less frequently but indicate stronger momentum.
The relative strength index was developed by J. Welles Wilder and published in a 1978 book, New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems, and in Commodities magazine (now Futures magazine) in the June 1978 issue.  It has become one of the most popular oscillator indices. 
The RSI provides signals that tell investors to buy when the security or currency is oversold and to sell when it is overbought. 
RSI with recommended parameters and its day-to-day optimization was tested and compared with other strategies in Marek and Šedivá (2017). The testing was randomised in time and companies (e.g., Apple, Exxon Mobil, IBM, Microsoft) and showed that RSI can still produce good results; however, in longer time it is usually overcome by the simple buy-and-hold strategy.