Let $M$ be a matroid, for example viewed as being given by a finite set $X$ and a rank function $d : P(X) \to {\mathbb N}$ such that

1) $d(\varnothing)=0$, $d(\lbrace x \rbrace)=1$, for all $x \in X$,

2) $A \subset B$ implies $d(A) \leq d(B)$, and

3) $d(A \cap B) + d(A \cup B) \leq d(A) + d(B)$ for all $A,B \in P(X)$.

A matroid is said to be *representable* over a field $k$, if there exists a collection of vectors $\lbrace \xi_x \in V \mid x \in X \rbrace$ of some $k$-vectorspace $V$, such that

$$d(A) = \dim {\rm span}_k \lbrace \xi_x \mid x \in A \rbrace \quad \forall A \in P(X).$$

It is well-known by results of Tutte, that representability of $M$ over $GF(2)$ and representability over all fields is characterized by certain finite lists of excluded minors that $M$ should not contain. At the same time Vámos has shown that there is *no* such finite list of excluded minors which characterizes representability over $\mathbb R$.

Question:What are sufficient conditions for representability of $M$ over $\mathbb R$?

By Tutte's result, $M$ is representable over any field if $M$ does not contain $U_{24}$, $F_7$ and $F^\ast_7$ as minors. Here, $U_{24}$ denotes the matroid of four points on a line, $F_7$ is the Fano plane and $F^\ast_7$ its dual. The question is whether there is a general result, that describes a larger class of matroids which are representable over $\mathbb R$.

regularif it representable overeveryfield. Andreas is saying that the set of excluded-minors for regular matroids is known and finite, while the set of excluded minors for just real-representability is infinite. – Tony Huynh Dec 3 '10 at 15:56