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This may not be the correct place to ask such a question. I have read a mathematical paper on multiclass total variation clustering. I wish to use the algorithm in the contents to compare with another clustering result. My question is:

Is there a proper etiquette for asking the author(s) of the paper for their code? Is it rude to do so? Should I just try to figure it out on my own? Or is this something that is common?

One reason why I want to ask is because I am short on time and may not be able to figure it out by my deadline.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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  • $\begingroup$ My $0.02, as someone who writes code (not mathematical, but just code) a lot: If someone who appears to know nothing about a subject straight up asks for my code, I decline. If someone knows a lot about a subject and should be able to write it themselves given enough time, I say yes. If someone is in the middle (they know some about the subject, but not enough to right the code themselves), I will say yes if they have shown effort. $\endgroup$ – apnorton Dec 3 '13 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ "Dr. So-and-so, I am very interested in your paper titled `Title' appearing in the Journal of Interesting Papers. I think your algorithm is highly applicable to my data, but I'm having some trouble in the implementation. Do you happen to have some open-source code, or perhaps a buildable application, that I can use to benchmark my results?" $\endgroup$ – Emily Dec 3 '13 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ The above comment is, of course, really only applicable if it's true. $\endgroup$ – Emily Dec 3 '13 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ Great! Thank you guys. I've never asked before so I don't want to be rude. This is helpful. $\endgroup$ – RDizzl3 Dec 3 '13 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ For the future: Academia is where such questions are precisely on topic, and both mathematics and computer science are well represented in their user base. $\endgroup$ – Post No Bulls Dec 3 '13 at 6:54

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