Modal Logics are Coalgebraic

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Applications of modal logics are abundant in computer science, and a large number of structurally different modal logics have been successfully employed in a diverse spectrum of application contexts. Coalgebraic semantics, on the other hand, provides a uniform and encompassing view on the large variety of specific logics used in particular domains. The coalgebraic approach is generic and compositional: tools and techniques simultaneously apply to a large class of application areas and can moreover be combined in a modular way. In particular, this facilitates a pick-and-choose approach to domain specific formalisms, applicable across the entire scope of application areas, leading to generic software tools that are easier to design, to implement, and to maintain. This paper substantiates the authors' firm belief that the systematic exploitation of this coalgebraic nature will not only have impact on the field of modal logic itself but also lead to significant progress in a number of areas within computer science, such as knowledge representation and concurrency/mobility.


This paper was originally presented at the BCS International Academic Conference in 2008. It was later published as:

C. Cirstea, A. Kurz, D. Pattinson, L. Schroder, and Y. Venema, “Modal Logics are Coalgebraic,” The Computer Journal, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 31–41, Jan. 2011. doi: 10.1093/comjnl/bxp004