Kochen-Specker (KS) vector systems are sets of vectors in R3 with the property that it is impossible to assign 0s and 1s to the vectors in such a way that no two orthogonal vectors are assigned 0 and no three mutually orthogonal vectors are assigned 1. The existence of such sets forms the basis of the Kochen-Specker and Free Will theorems. Currently, the smallest known KS vector system contains 31 vectors. In this paper, we establish a lower bound of 18 on the size of any KS vector system. This requires us to consider a mix of graph-theoretic and topological embedding problems, which we investigate both from theoretical and practical angles. We propose several algorithms to tackle these problems and report on extensive experiments. At the time of writing, a large gap remains between the best lower and upper bounds for the minimum size of KS vector systems.
Proceedings of WG 11, LNCS 6986, 2011. 16 pages.