On the Complexity of Elementary Modal Logics

Henning Schnoor
Institut für Theoretische Informatik
Fakultät für Elektrotechnik und Informatik
Leibniz Universität Hannover


Modal logics are widely used in various areas of computer science. The complexity of modal satisfiability problems has been investigated since the 1970s, usually with proving results for each logic on a case-by-case basis. We prove a very general classification for a wide class of relevant logics: Many important subclasses of modal logics can be obtained by restricting the allowed models with first-order Horn formulas. We show that the satisfiability problem for each of these logics is either NP-complete or PSPACE-hard, and exhibit a simple classification criterion. Further, we prove matching PSPACE upper bounds for many of the PSPACE-hard logics.

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