Given a family F of k-element sets, S₁,…,S_r ∈ F form an r-sunflower if S_i ∩ S_j = S_{i'} ∩ S_{j'} for all i ≠ j and i' ≠ j'. According to a famous conjecture of Erdős and Rado (1960), there is a constant c = c(r) such that if |F| ≥ c^k, then F contains an r-sunflower.

We come close to proving this conjecture for families of bounded Vapnik-Chervonenkis dimension, VC-dim(F) ≤ d. In this case, we show that r-sunflowers exist under the slightly stronger assumption |F| ≥ 2^{10k(dr)^{2log^{*} k}}. Here, log^* denotes the iterated logarithm function.

We also verify the Erdős-Rado conjecture for families F of bounded Littlestone dimension and for some geometrically defined set systems.