Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Action Emulation between Canonical Models


In this paper we investigate Kripke models, used to model knowledge or belief in a static situation, and action models, used to model communicative actions that change this knowledge or belief. The appropriate notion for structural equivalence between modal structures such as Kripke models is bisimulation: Kripke models that are bisimilar are modally equivalent. We would like to find a structural relation that can play the same role for the action models that play a prominent role in information updating. Two action models are equivalent if they yield the same results when updating Kripke models. More precisely, two action models are equivalent if it holds for all Kripke models that the result of updating with one action model is bisimilar to the result of updating with the other action model. We propose a new notion of action emulation that characterizes the structural equivalence of the important class of canonical action models. Since every action model has an equivalent canonical action model, this gives a method to decide the equivalence of any pair of action models. We also give a partial result that holds for the class of all action models. Our results extend the work in van Eijck et al. (Synthese 185(1):131–151, 2012).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1

    Baltag, A., Moss, L.S., Solecki, S. (1998). The logic of public announcements, common knowledge, and private suspicions. In Proceedings of the 7th conference on theoretical aspects of rationality and knowledge (TARK ’98) (pp. 43–56).

  2. 2

    Blackburn, P., de Rijke, M., Venema, Y. (2001). Modal logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  3. 3

    Sietsma, F. (2012). Logics of communication and knowledge. PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam.

  4. 4

    van Eijck, J., Ji, R., Sadzik, T. (2012). Action emulation. Synthese, 185(1), 131–151.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Floor Sietsma.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sietsma, F., van Eijck, J. Action Emulation between Canonical Models. J Philos Logic 42, 905–925 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10992-013-9298-y

Download citation


  • Epistemic logic
  • Kripke models
  • Action models
  • Bisimulation
  • Action emulation