15-816 Modal Logic

Projects are a major component of this class, making up 35% of the grade. Projects start after the midterm and should be completed by the end of the semester. Projects can be done in groups with up to two students. They proceed in three phases: white paper, proposal, and report. The deadlines on the white paper, proposal, and project report are strict. The point distribution is 30 pts for the white paper, 70 pts for the proposal, and 250 pts for the project report.

Projects can be of different kinds; see some sample scenarios below. It is not required that each project have design, theory, and implementation components.


Here are the final project reports, accessible only from within CMU.


Instructions and templates for white paper, project proposal, and project report can be found here:

The white paper is a short document, 2-5 pages, which sketches a proposed project. It should lay out some background, the problem, the method by which it is approached, and the expected outcome. It should cite the most relevant literature. The white paper will be graded and feedback will be provided.

The proposal is a more extensive document, 5-10 pages, which highlights preliminary results, partial algorithms or implementations, and goes into more detail on the approach, including possible alternatives, and measures of success. The proposal will be graded and feedback will be provided.

The report is in the style of a technical report with no particular target on page numbers. It should detail background, approach, and results in the manner of a conference or journal paper, possibly supplemented by code. Literature should be cited in a scholarly manner. Specifics of the contents will depend on the nature of the project. The project will be graded.

Some Sample Scenarios

Logic Design

A project could address a particular set of properties, or a particular domain, by devising a logic for reasoning in this domain. Typically, such a project would consist of a the design of a logic and some metatheoretic properties such as cut elimination, or soundness and completeness with respect a class of models.

Implementation of Proof Search

A project could attack the implementation of proof search for a modal logic or class of modal logics. This could be a tableaux style or resolution style prover, a model-checker, or a decision procedure for a propositional modal logic.

Modal Logic Applications

A project could develop an application of modal logic. This could either be in area where it is not standard practice, or where current practice can be improved with novel features in the modal logic under consideration.

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Frank Pfenning, André Platzer