Tabular expressions introduced by David Parnas in early eighties of last century have been used in software industry for many years and their formal semantics has been proposed by (Janicki 1985) and developed by (Janicki-Parnas-Zucker 1997, Janicki-Khedri 2001, Kahl 2004, Jin-Parnas 2010) and others. They are currently being used and developed at McMaster by research teams of Mark Lawford and Alan Wassyng, but there are still many open problems and unexplored avenues.


The trace assertion method is a formal state machine-based method for specifying module interfaces by (Bartoussek-Parnas 1972). It was invented as an alternative for algebraic specification, has been used quite successfully by the software industry, and has solid theoretical foundations (Janicki-Sekerinski 2001, Brzozowski-Jürgensen 2006, Prowell-Poore 2003) and others. However, dealing with concurrency seems to be a weak point of current versions of trace assertions.


Both topics mentioned above are right now dormant, mainly due to involvement in other research areas however, they both can be renewed quite easily, providing some graduate students would express some interest.


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LIST OF PUBLICATIONS: Tabular Expressions, Trace Assertion Method and Fundamentals of Software Engineering


  1. I. Bourguiba, R. Janicki, Converting Software Cost Reduction Tables into Tabular Expressions, Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference Modelling and Simulation (AfricaMS 2014), September 1 - 3, 2014 Gaborone, Botswana, pp. 74-80.


  1. V. Babiy, R. Janicki, W. W. Koczkodaj, A. Wassyng, A context aware framework for product based software certification, Journal of Applied Computer Science 19,1 (2011), 7-32.


  1. V. Babiy, A. D. Bogobowicz, R. Janicki, W. W. Koczkodaj, A. Wassyng, Selecting the best strategy in a software certification process, Proc. of IMCSIT (International Multiconference on Computer Science and Information Technology), Vol. 5 (Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Applications), pp. 53-58, Wisła, Poland, 2010.


  1. V. Babiy, R. Janicki, T. A. Jingco, T. Kakiashvili, W. W. Koczkodaj, M. Woodbury- Smith, Benefits of Using Tabular Expressions in Planning Health Services, Proc. of SERP’2009 (Software Engineering Research and Practice), Volume I,  pp. 99-102,  Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009, CSREA Press.

  2. I. Bourguiba, R. Janicki, Tabular Expressions vs Software Cost Reduction, Proc. of SERP’2009 (Software Engineering Research and Practice), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 2009.

  3. I. Bourguiba, R. Janicki, Table-based Specification Techniques, Proc. of the 39th CIE’2009 (Computers and Industrial Engineering), Troyes, France, 2009.


  1. R. Janicki, Specifying Module Interfaces with Finitely Defined Automata, 11th WSEAS Int. Conf. on Computers, pp. 108-113, Agios Nicolaos, Crete, Greece 2007, WSEAS Press.


  1. R. Janicki, A. Wassyng, Tabular Expressions and Their Relational Semantics, Fundamenta Informaticae 67, 4 (2005), 343-370.


  1. Y. Yang, R. Janicki, On Concurrency and Tabular Expressions, Proc. of SERP’2004 (Software Engineering Research and Practice), Las Vegas, USA, 2004, pp. 455 - 461.


  1. A. Wassyng, R. Janicki, Tabular Expressions in Software Engineering, Proc. of ICSSEA’03 (Intern. Conf. on Software and System Engineering), Vol. 4, Paris, France 2003, pp.1-46.

  2. R. Janicki, A. Wassyng, On Tabular Expressions, Proc. of. CASCON’2003 (13th IBM Centre for Advanced Studies Conference), Toronto, Canada 2003, pp. 38-52.


  1. R. Janicki, Formal Specification and Finitely Defined Automata with Interpreted States, Proc. of SERP’2002 (Software Engineering Research and Practice), Las Vegas, USA, 2002, pp. 434-440.


  1. R. Janicki, E. Sekerinski, Foundations of the Trace Assertion Method of Module Interface Specification, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 27, 7 (2001) 577-598.

  2. R. Janicki, R. Khédri, On a Formal Semantics of Tabular Expressions, Science of Computer Programming, 39 (2001) 189-213.

  3. R. Janicki, Y. Liu, On Trace Assertion Method of Module Interface Specification with Concurrency, Proc. of RSCTC’2000 (Rough Sets and Current Trends in Computing), Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 2005, Springer 2001, 632-641.

  4. R. Janicki, Trace Assertion Method as an Example of Finitely Defined Automaton with Interpreted States, Proc. of SSGRR’2001, L’Aquila, Italy 2001.


  1. R. Janicki, D. L. Parnas and J. Zucker, Tabular Representations, In C. Brink and G. Schmidt (eds.) Relational Methods in Computer Science,  Springer-Verlag, 1997, 184-196.


  1. R. Janicki, Towards a Formal Semantics of Parnas Tables, Proc. of the 17th International Conference on Software Engineering, Seattle, Washington, 1995, 231-240.

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