A year ago a small team (2-3 prominent scientists) from prominent academic and industrial collaboration published 120+ page long research preprint that could be very important contribution to the machine learning science. I have tried to decipher it and mostly I can grasp the main ideas and this article motivated me to read a lot of books and articles and learn a lot. But still - I can see quite clearly that the hardest part of this particle are not the advanced theory but just some obscure mathematical constructions that are not clearly defined or justified or worked out.
I have contacted authors several times before shyly. They were forthcoming but still I have many more questions left.
What is general practice about such communication between readers and authors? Is such communication the standard practice? Are authors eager to respond and make clarifications or maybe they have no motivation to spend time on such communication?
So - is there some way how I can encourage and motivate authors to respond to my questions?
I can imagine 2 factors that can contribute to their motivation:
This preprint is still not published and quite possibly that it is under the review (my guess is that is rejected as too obscure from the major publication venues). So - such communication can give hints for the improvement of the article. E.g. authors can give response to me and almost copy-paste some paragraphs of the answer in the improved version of the article;
I have honest intention to build my own research work on their article (series of articles). This can be even better motivation for them because the original article/preprint is pure theory but I have applications in mind.
From the other side, point 2 can be quite worthless in my case because I am making only the first steps in the research.