# Are most things generally discovered because they work empirically and later justified mathematically, or vice-versa?

In the original GloVe paper, the authors discuss group theory when coming up with equation (4). Is it possible that the authors came up with this model, figured out it was good, and then later found out various group theory justifications that justified it? Or was it discovered sequentially as it is described in the paper?

More specifically:

Question. In AI research, are most things generally discovered because they work empirically and later justified mathematically, or is it the other way around?