Oliver Kutz, Holger Sturm, Nobu-Yuki Suzuki, Frank Wolter, and Michael Zakharyaschev

We investigate the expressive power and computational properties of two different types of languages intended for speaking about distances. First, we consider a first-order language FM the two-variable fragment of which turns out to be undecidable in the class of distance spaces validating the triangular inequality as well as in the class of all metric spaces. Yet, this two-variable fragment is decidable in various weaker classes of distance spaces. Second, we introduce a variable-free `modal' language MS which, when interpreted in metric spaces, has the same expressive power as the two-variable fragment of FM. We determine natural and expressive fragments of MS which are decidable in various classes of distance spaces validating the triangular inequality, in particular, the class of all metric spaces.