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\section{Lower bounds for the Moser problem}\label{moser-lower-sec}

In this section we discuss lower bounds for $c'_{n,3}$. Clearly we have $c'_{0,3}=1$ and $c'_{1,3}=2$, so we focus on the case $n \ge 2$. The first lower bounds may be due to Koml\'{o}s \cite{komlos}, who observed that the sphere $S_{i,n}$ of elements with exactly $n-i$ 2 entries (see Section \ref{notation-sec} for definition), is a Moser set, so that \begin{equation}\label{cin} c'_{n,3}\geq \vert S_{i,n}\vert \end{equation}

holds for all $i$. Choosing $i=\lfloor \frac{2n}{3}\rfloor$  and 

applying Stirling's formula, we see that this lower bound takes the form \begin{equation}\label{cpn3} c'_{n,3} \geq (C-o(1)) 3^n / \sqrt{n} \end{equation} for some absolute constant $C>0$; in fact \eqref{cin} gives \eqref{cpn3} with $C := \sqrt{\frac{9}{4\pi}}$. In particular $c'_{3,3} \geq 12, c'_{4,3}\geq 24, c'_{5,3}\geq 80, c'_{6,3}\geq 240$. Asymptotically, the best lower bounds we know of are still of this type, but the values can be improved by studying combinations of several spheres or

semispheres or applying elementary results from coding theory.

Observe that if $\{w(1),w(2),w(3)\}$ is a geometric line in $[3]^n$, then $w(1), w(3)$ both lie in the same sphere $S_{i,n}$, and that $w(2)$ lies in a lower sphere $S_{i-r,n}$ for some $1 \leq r \leq i \leq n$. Furthermore, $w(1)$ and $w(3)$ are separated by Hamming distance $r$.

As a consequence, we see that $S_{i-1,n} \cup S_{i,n}^e$ (or $S_{i-1,n} \cup S_{i,n}^o$) is a Moser set for any $1 \leq i \leq n$, since any two distinct elements $S_{i,n}^e$ are separated by a Hamming distance of at least two. (Recall Section \ref{notation-sec} for definitions), This leads to the lower bound \begin{equation}\label{cn3-low}

c'_{n,3} \geq \binom{n}{i-1} 

2^{i-1} + \binom{n}{i} 2^{i-1} = \binom{n+1}{i} 2^{i-1}. \end{equation} It is not hard to see that $\binom{n+1}{i+1} 2^{i} > \binom{n+1}{i} 2^{i-1}$ if and only if $3i < 2n+1$, and so this lower bound is maximised when $i = \lfloor \frac{2n+1}{3} \rfloor$ for $n \geq 2$, giving the formula \eqref{binom}. This leads to the lower bounds $$ c'_{2,3} \geq 6; c'_{3,3} \geq 16; c'_{4,3} \geq 40; c'_{5,3} \geq 120; c'_{6,3} \geq 336$$ which gives the right lower bounds for $n=2,3$, but is slightly off for $n=4,5$. Asymptotically, Stirling's formula and \eqref{cn3-low} then give the lower bound \eqref{cpn3} with $C = \frac{3}{2} \times \sqrt{\frac{9}{4\pi}}$, which is asymptotically $50\%$ better than the bound \eqref{cin}.

The work of Chv\'{a}tal \cite{chvatal1} already contained a refinement of this idea which we here translate into the usual notation of coding theory: Let $A(n,d)$ denote the size of the largest binary code of length $n$

and minimal distance $d$.

Then \begin{equation}\label{cnchvatal} c'_{n,3}\geq \max_k \left( \sum_{j=0}^k \binom{n}{j} A(n-j, k-j+1)\right). \end{equation}

With the following values for $A(n,d)$: {\tiny{ \[ \begin{array}{llllllll} A(1,1)=2&&&&&&&\\ A(2,1)=4& A(2,2)=2&&&&&&\\ A(3,1)=8&A(3,2)=4&A(3,3)=2&&&&&\\ A(4,1)=16&A(4,2)=8& A(4,3)=2& A(4,4)=2&&&&\\ A(5,1)=32&A(5,2)=16& A(5,3)=4& A(5,4)=2&A(5,5)=2&&&\\ A(6,1)=64&A(6,2)=32& A(6,3)=8& A(6,4)=4&A(6,5)=2&A(6,6)=2&&\\ A(7,1)=128&A(7,2)=64& A(7,3)=16& A(7,4)=8&A(7,5)=2&A(7,6)=2&A(7,7)=2&\\ A(8,1)=256&A(8,2)=128& A(8,3)=20& A(8,4)=16&A(8,5)=4&A(8,6)=2 &A(8,7)=2&A(8,8)=2\\ A(9,1)=512&A(9,2)=256& A(9,3)=40& A(9,4)=20&A(9,5)=6&A(9,6)=4 &A(9,7)=2&A(9,8)=2\\ A(10,1)=1024&A(10,2)=512& A(10,3)=72& A(10,4)=40&A(10,5)=12&A(10,6)=6 &A(10,7)=2&A(10,8)=2\\ A(11,1)=2048&A(11,2)=1024& A(11,3)=144& A(11,4)=72&A(11,5)=24&A(11,6)=12 &A(11,7)=2&A(11,8)=2\\ A(12,1)=4096&A(12,2)=2048& A(12,3)=256& A(12,4)=144&A(12,5)=32&A(12,6)=24 &A(12,7)=4&A(12,8)=2\\ A(13,1)=8192&A(13,2)=4096& A(13,3)=512& A(13,4)=256&A(13,5)=64&A(12,6)=32 &A(13,7)=8&A(13,8)=4\\ \end{array} \] }}

Generally, $A(n,1)=2^n, A(n,2)=2^{n-1}, A(n-1,2e-1)=A(n,2e), A(n,d)=2$, if $d>\frac{2n}{3}$. The values were taken or derived from Andries Brower's table at\\$\sim$aeb/codes/binary-1.html \textbf{include to references? or other book with explicit values of $A(n,d)$ }

For $c'_{n,3}$ we obtain the following lower bounds: with $k=2$ \[ \begin{array}{llll} c'_{4,3}&\geq &\binom{4}{0}A(4,3)+\binom{4}{1}A(3,2)+\binom{4}{2}A(2,1) =1\cdot 2+4 \cdot 4+6\cdot 4&=42.\\ c'_{5,3}&\geq &\binom{5}{0}A(5,3)+\binom{5}{1}A(4,2)+\binom{5}{2}A(3,1) =1\cdot 4+5 \cdot 8+10\cdot 8&=124.\\ c'_{6,3}&\geq &\binom{6}{0}A(6,3)+\binom{6}{1}A(5,2)+\binom{6}{2}A(4,1) =1\cdot 8+6 \cdot 16+15\cdot 16&=344. \end{array} \] With k=3 \[ \begin{array}{llll} c'_{7,3}&\geq& \binom{7}{0}A(7,4)+\binom{7}{1}A(6,3)+\binom{7}{2}A(5,2) + \binom{7}{3}A(4,1)&=960.\\ c'_{8,3}&\geq &\binom{8}{0}A(8,4)+\binom{8}{1}A(7,3)+\binom{8}{2}A(6,2) + \binom{8}{3}A(5,1)&=2832.\\ c'_{9,3}&\geq & \binom{9}{0}A(9,4)+\binom{9}{1}A(8,3)+\binom{9}{2}A(7,2) + \binom{9}{3}A(6,1)&=7880. \end{array}\] With k=4 \[ \begin{array}{llll} c'_{10,3}&\geq &\binom{10}{0}A(10,5)+\binom{10}{1}A(9,4)+\binom{10}{2}A(8,3) + \binom{10}{3}A(7,2)+\binom{10}{4}A(6,1)&=22232.\\ c'_{11,3}&\geq &\binom{11}{0}A(11,5)+\binom{11}{1}A(10,4)+\binom{11}{2}A(9,3) + \binom{11}{3}A(8,2)+\binom{11}{4}A(7,1)&=66024.\\ c'_{12,3}&\geq &\binom{12}{0}A(12,5)+\binom{12}{1}A(11,4)+\binom{12}{2}A(10,3) + \binom{12}{3}A(9,2)+\binom{12}{4}A(8,1)&=188688.\\ \end{array}\] With $k=5$ \[ c'_{13,3}\geq 539168.\]

It should be pointed out that these bounds are even numbers, so that $c'_{4,3}=43$ shows that one cannot generally expect this lower bound gives the optimum.

The maximum value appears to occur for $k=\lfloor\frac{n+2}{3}\rfloor$, so that using Stirling's formula and explicit bounds on $A(n,d)$ the best possible value known to date of the constant $C$ in equation \eqref{cpn3} can be worked out, but we refrain from doing this here. Using the Singleton bound $A(n,d)\leq 2^{n-d+1}$ Chv\'{a}tal \cite{chvatal1} proved that the expression on the right hand side of \eqref{cnchvatal} is also $O\left( \frac{3^n}{\sqrt{n}}\right)$, so that the refinement described above gains a constant factor over the initial construction only.

For $n=4$ the above does not yet give the exact value. The value $c'_{4,3}=43$ was first proven by Chandra \cite{chandra}. A uniform way of describing examples for the optimum values of $c'_{4,3}=43$ and $c'_{5,3}=124$ is the following:

Let us consider the sets $$ A := S_{i-1,n} \cup S_{i,n}^e \cup A'$$ where $A' \subset S_{i+1,n}$ has the property that any two elements in $A'$ are separated by a Hamming distance of at least three, or have a Hamming distance of exactly one but their midpoint lies in $S_{i,n}^o$. By the previous discussion we see that this is a Moser set, and we have the lower bound \begin{equation}\label{cnn} c'_{n,3} \geq \binom{n+1}{i} 2^{i-1} + |A'|. \end{equation} This gives some improved lower bounds for $c'_{n,3}$:

\begin{itemize} \item By taking $n=4$, $i=3$, and $A' = \{ 1111, 3331, 3333\}$, we obtain $c'_{4,3} \geq 43$; \item By taking $n=5$, $i=4$, and $A' = \{ 11111, 11333, 33311, 33331 \}$, we obtain $c'_{5,3} \geq 124$. \item By taking $n=6$, $i=5$, and $A' = \{ 111111, 111113, 111331, 111333, 331111, 331113\}$, we obtain $c'_{6,3} \geq 342$. \end{itemize}

This gives the lower bounds in Theorem \ref{moser} up to $n=5$, but the bound for $n=6$ is inferior to the lower bound $c'_{6,3}\geq 344$ given above.

A modification of the construction in \eqref{cn3-low} leads to a slightly better lower bound. Observe that if $B \subset \Delta_n$, then the set $A_B := \bigcup_{\vec a \in B} \Gamma_{a,b,c}$ is a Moser set as long as $B$ does not contain any ``isosceles triangles $(a+r,b,c+s), (a+s,b,c+r), (a,b+r+s,c)$ for any $r,s \geq 0$ not both zero; in particular, $B$ cannot contain any ``vertical line segments $(a+r,b,c+r), (a,b+2r,c)$. An example of such a set is provided by selecting $0 \leq i \leq n-3$ and letting $B$ consist of the triples $(a, n-i, i-a)$ when $a \neq 3 \mod 3$, $(a,n-i-1,i+1-a)$ when $a \neq 1 \mod 3$, $(a,n-i-2,i+2-a)$ when $a=0 \mod 3$, and $(a,n-i-3,i+3-a)$ when $a=2 \mod 3$. Asymptotically, this set occues about two thirds of the spheres $S_{n,i}$, $S_{n,i+1}$ and one third of the spheres $S_{n,i+2}, S_{n,i+3}$ and (setting $i$ close to $n/3$) gives a lower bound \eqref{cpn3} with $C = 2 \times \sqrt{\frac{9}{4\pi}}$, which is thus superior to the previous constructions.

An integer program was run to obtain the optimal lower bounds achievable by the $A_B$ construction (using \eqref{cn3}, of course). The results for $1 \leq n \leq 20$ are displayed in Figure \ref{nlow-moser}:

\begin{figure}[tb] \centerline{ \begin{tabular}{|ll|ll|} \hline n & lower bound & n & lower bound \\ \hline 1 & 2 &11& 71766\\ 2 & 6 & 12& 212423\\ 3 & 16 & 13& 614875\\ 4 & 43 & 14& 1794212\\ 5 & 122& 15& 5321796\\ 6 & 353& 16& 15455256\\ 7 & 1017& 17& 45345052\\ 8 & 2902&18& 134438520\\ 9 & 8622&19& 391796798\\ 10& 24786& 20& 1153402148\\ \hline \end{tabular}} \caption{Lower bounds for $c'_n$ obtained by the $A_B$ construction.} \label{nlow-moser} \end{figure}

More complete data, including the list of optimisers, can be found at {\tt}.

This indicates that greedily filling in spheres, semispheres or codes is no longer the optimal strategy in dimensions six and higher. The lower bound $c'_{6,3} \geq 353$ was first located by a genetic algorithm: see Appendix \ref{genetic-alg}.

\begin{figure}[tb] \centerline{\includegraphics{moser353new.png}} \caption{One of the examples of $353$-point sets in $[3]^6$ (elements of the set being indicated by white squares).} \label{moser353-fig} \end{figure}

Actually it is possible to improve upon these bounds by a slight amount. Observe that if $B$ is a maximiser for the right-hand side of \eqref{cn3} (subject to $B$ not containing isosceles triangles), then any triple $(a,b,c)$ not in $B$ must be the vertex of a (possibly degenerate) isosceles triangle with the other vertices in $B$. If this triangle is non-degenerate, or if $(a,b,c)$ is the upper vertex of a degenerate isosceles triangle, then no point from $\Gamma_{a,b,c}$ can be added to $A_B$ without creating a geometric line. However, if $(a,b,c) = (a'+r,b',c'+r)$ is only the lower vertex of a degenerate isosceles triangle $(a'+r,b',c'+r), (a',b'+2r,c')$, then one can add any subset of $\Gamma_{a,b,c}$ to $A_B$ and still have a Moser set as long as no pair of elements in that subset is separated by Hamming distance $2r$. For instance, in the $n=10$ case, the set $$B = \{(0 0 10),(0 2 8 ), (0 3 7 ),(0 4 6 ),(1 4 5 ),(2 1 7 ),(2 3 5 ),(3 2 5 ),(3 3 4 ),(3 4 3 ),(4 4 2 ),(5 1 4 ),(5 3 2 ),(6 2 2 ),(6 3 1 ),(6 4 0 ),(8 1 1 ),(9 0 1 ),(9 1 0 ) \}$$

generates the lower bound $c'_{10,3} \geq 24786$ given above (and, up to reflection $a \leftrightarrow c$, is the only such set that does so); but by adding twelve elements from $\Gamma_{5,0,5}$ one can increase the lower bound slightly to $24798$.

However, we have been unable to locate a lower bound which is asymptotically better than \eqref{cpn3}. Indeed, any method based purely on the $A_B$ construction cannot do asymptotically better than the previous constructions:

\begin{proposition} Let $B \subset \Delta_n$ be such that $A_B$ is a Moser set. Then $|A_B| \leq (2 \sqrt{\frac{9}{4\pi}} + o(1)) \frac{3^n}{\sqrt{n}}$. \end{proposition}

\begin{proof} By the previous discussion, $B$ cannot contain any pair of the form $(a,b+2r,c), (a+r,b,c+r)$ with $r>0$. In other words, for any $-n \leq h \leq n$, $B$ can contain at most one triple $(a,b,c)$ with $c-a=h$. From this and \eqref{cn3}, we see that $$ |A_B| \leq \sum_{h=-n}^n \max_{(a,b,c) \in \Delta_n: c-a=h} \frac{n!}{a! b! c!}.$$ From the Chernoff inequality (or the Stirling formula computation below) we see that $\frac{n!}{a! b! c!} \leq \frac{1}{n^{10}} 3^n$ unless $a,b,c = n/3 + O( n^{1/2} \log^{1/2} n )$, so we may restrict to this regime, which also forces $h = O( n^{1/2}/\log^{1/2} n)$. If we write $a = n/3 + \alpha$, $b = n/3 + \beta$, $c = n/3+\gamma$ and apply Stirling's formula $n! = (1+o(1)) \sqrt{2\pi n} n^n e^{-n}$, we obtain $$ \frac{n!}{a! b! c!} = (1+o(1)) \frac{3^{3/2}}{2\pi n} 3^n \exp( - (\frac{n}{3}+\alpha) \log (1 + \frac{3\alpha}{n} ) - (\frac{n}{3}+\beta) \log (1 + \frac{3\beta}{n} ) - (\frac{n}{3}+\gamma) \log (1 + \frac{3\gamma}{n} ) ).$$ From Taylor expansion one has $$ (\frac{n}{3}+\alpha) \log (1 + \frac{3\alpha}{n} ) = -\alpha - \frac{3}{2} \frac{\alpha^2}{n} + o(1)$$ and similarly for $\beta,\gamma$; since $\alpha+\beta+\gamma=0$, we conclude that $$ \frac{n!}{a! b! c!} = (1+o(1)) \frac{3^{3/2}}{2\pi n} 3^n \exp( - \frac{3}{2n} (\alpha^2+\beta^2+\gamma^2) ).$$ If $c-a=h$, then $\alpha^2+\beta^2+\gamma^2 = \frac{3\beta^2}{2} + \frac{h^2}{2}$. Thus we see that $$ \max_{(a,b,c) \in \Delta_n: c-a=h} \frac{n!}{a! b! c!} \leq (1+o(1)) \frac{3^{3/2}}{2\pi n} 3^n \exp( - \frac{3}{4n} h^2 ).$$ Using the integral test, we thus have $$ |A_B| \leq (1+o(1)) \frac{3^{3/2}}{2\pi n} 3^n \int_\R \exp( - \frac{3}{4n} x^2 )\ dx.$$ Since $\int_\R \exp( - \frac{3}{4n} x^2 )\ dx = \sqrt{\frac{4\pi n}{3}}$, we obtain the claim. \end{proof}