A particular case of wireless sensor networks are those that have a linear topology. These networks are used in monitoring large-scale linear infrastructures that are characterized by having thousands of sensor nodes, hundreds of hops and great lengths. The requirements for routing in linear topologies are minimal relative to the requirements of other topologies. There are currently several network architectures and routing protocols for wireless sensor networks, which have been created based on the application that will run on the nodes. Routing protocols designed for mesh, tree, and star topologies are very complex when applied to linear multi-hop topologies, resulting in large processing delays. This article defines the relevance of the existence of the network level in the network architecture with linear topology, for which the functions of the network protocols that are applicable to linear topologies are analyzed. Finally, it is justified that the network level is not necessary in wireless sensor networks with linear topology, and as a consequence, the network levels that the new network architecture should have are proposed.
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