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The "Anonymous" part of the "Anonymous Publish Subscribe" architecture that ROS is based on means that a node does not have to know if there are subscribers on a topic or not.

This means that publishing to a topic with subscribers is exactly the same as publishing to a topic that doesn't have any subscribers.

If you have a particular node that you're trying to interact with by publishing messages, you should publish them with the same type and topic name as the subscriber. Usually the topic names and types will be documented on the node's wiki page, or if the node is running you can find topic names with rostopic list and the type of a topic with rostopic info.