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[protege-discussion] modal logics

Emmanuelle Pellegrino empellegri at
Thu May 29 05:37:09 PDT 2008

Dear Colleagues, 


We are developing an ontology of architecture. The architect conceives a
project and thus not only existing real objects, but virtual objects.


Consequently, one puts the question to know how to treat modal logics with


In Protégé, one can put existential or universal restrictions on classes ;
these restrictions are of a kind obligatory. To be member of a class, one
must [necessarily] have at least this or that (existential restriction) or
only this or that (universal restriction). 


For the moment, therefore, one can say : 

“Must have at least”; “must only have” 

“Must be at least”; “must be only” 

→ character of necessity


We would like to pass from the necessary field to the possible field. 


In other words, how to bring restrictions on classes which don’t have all
an obligatory character?


And in complement, to express the opposite of the necessity, contingency :

“Not to have to be” 

“Not to have to have” 

→ character of what is contingent (not-necessary)


To express the possibility :

“To be able to be”; “must not not to be” 

“To be able to have”; “must not not to have” 

→ character of possibility


And in complement, the opposite of the possibility, impossibility : 

“Not to be able not to be”, “Must not be” 

“Not to be able not to have”, “Must not have” 

→ character of impossibility


In architecture, to put the question of the description of the necessary or
possible character of a restriction reverts at the bottom raising the
question of a combinatory of the possible. The combinatory is the even fact
of opening on possibilities. To combine supposes to select in various
paradigms each time a paradigmatic element (one chooses this one or that
one). Then the various paradigmatic elements selected are connected. One
places this element in this place and this other at that one[1].


How to integrate in good logic rules born of variants, which can be



[1] In architecture, to project is to combine, it is to compose sequences
(syntagms) starting from a classification (paradigms). To project is to
choose and assemble. But any choice is reasoned; any architectural element
which is integrated into the project is selected according to criteria which
concern three big families: its utility, its beauty and its solidity. 


Thank you in advance for your answers.


Best Regards 


E. P. Jeanneret


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