The INTERNET fundamentally relies on TCP/IP Unicast and Multicast. Blue Force Tracker, the United States Army's "Greatest Invention" (co-developed by the US Marine Corps later in time) relies on a form of multicast IP, Global Positioning System GPS and gathering of unit status prior to data fusion center insertion. Unit status is derived from sampling state meta data. This state meta data is collected during internet "heartbeat intervals" by heretofore unused intervals in time set aside by the original developers of the Internet (Stanford University etc., ) for an unknown future use. The reserved intervals in time were used by US Army network engineers to gather state changes describing the status of individuals formed as units / groups -- location, unit designation or <Org_ID>, resource status by <URN> Uniform Resource Name that are used to determine mission readiness. Intervals or units in time are referred to metaphorically as "heartbeat, heartbeats" or "heartbeat-beacons". There are no "motes", "bots", "agents" or "heartbeats" -- only intervals, cycles, opportunities in time to do or not do (computational) tasks. Workflow is instructions to cause action / non-action -- instructions carried to platforms, nodes, devices.. by multi-cast, uni-cast broadcasts -- basically speaking. In other words, achieving situational awareness, situation understanding among many distributed organizations and locations is not as complicated as it sounds. Keep in mind that the Army and Marine Corps have relied on situational awareness across a wide area, distributed network for decades -- since the late 1990's. If a common procedure and common building blocks used in an iterative, cyclic process has worked for several decades in harsh conditions with sleep deprived, youthful soldiers, one would think that this technique would be replicable in commercial domains. 

RTI DDS Common State Picture for Blue Force Tracker now Joint Battle Command JBC 10:30: DDS is an Object Managemnent Group OMG Staandard