The initial stage of interaction between nodes within a network is their discovery and integration. A node on a network is any device with the ability to connect to a network: mobile phone, laptop, computer, tablet, etc. Discovery of nodes is possible in different ways, usually there is an environment in which the discovery process occurs and the main node in the network that is responsible for the association. In most cases, a router acts in this role.
Alfacast automatically detects other nodes within the same network. One node connects to another node and establishes a connection. In the alfacast system, there is no one dedicated node that is responsible for detecting or for establishing a connection between them. Each alfacast network node is independent and performs the discovery process independently with other nodes. After the nodes have discovered each other within the network, the process of connecting the nodes occurs. We use the UDP broadcast protocol for discovery between network nodes and the UDP unicast protocol for establishing a connection between nodes, as well as for receiving and transmitting data.