In search for a Machian formulation of mechanics I find the following problem. In Machian mechanics absolute space does not exists, and the only real entities are the relative distances between the particles. As a consequence, the configuration space of a N-particle system is the set of the distances on a set of N elements. Actually these distances are usually required to be isometrically embeddable in $\mathbb{R}^3$. But if absolute space does not exists, this requirement appears to be not appropriate. The natural generalization it therefore to admit any possible distance as physically acceptable, and to find a preferred way to derive a 3-geometry, possibly non-flat, form a generic distance.

To be more specific, consider the following simple example. Let A be a metric space with 3 elements. There are infinitely many bi-dimensional riemaniann manifolds (surfaces) is which A can be isometrically embedded. There is however a preferred embedding, namely the embedding into a plane. The existence of a preferred embedding defines a preferred value for the angles between the geodetics joining the points, which in this case are simply the angles of the triangle defined by the distance between the points.

Suppose now that A has four point. In general this metric space cannot be isometrically embedded in a 2-plane. The problem therefore is the following: is there a preferred isometric embedding of this metric space in a 2-surface, or equivalently, there is a preferred way for defining the values of the angles between the geodetics?

In more forma way, the problem is the following: is there a preferred isometric embedding of a finite metric space in a riemaniann manifold of given dimension?