Craig Thompson

Professional Bio

Thompsonís CV is here.

Thompson is an IEEE Fellow for contributions to artificial intelligence, database management and middleware and a Professor Emeritus in the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  He received a B.S. from Stanford in Mathematics in 1971 and an M.A and Ph.D. in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 and 1984 respectively.  He taught graduate AI and database courses at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, from 1977 to 1981. He was a Senior Member of Technical Staff and a Research Manager in the Central Research Labs at Texas Instruments from 1981 to 1995.  He co-founded and served as President of Object Services and Consulting, Inc. (OBJS) from 1995 to 2003.  He joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas in July 2003, where he held the Charles Morgan chair.  He retired in August 2014 to reinvent himself.

During his computing career, Thompson had a strong record of industrial research and external funding (principal investigator for $18.6M in IR&D, DARPA, SBIR, and industry projects since 1981).  He was a nationally recognized leader in object and agent technology standards (OMG, FIPA, X3H7, X3/OODBTG).  His work had impact in several fields - human-computer interfaces, database systems, software architecture, multi-agent systems, and the Internet of Things. Thompson holds several patents, was on the Editorial Board of IEEE Internet Computing, published dozens of papers in books, journals and conferences, organized several workshops, and supervised numerous PhD, Masters and BS Honors theses.  His publications appeared in Proceedings of the IEEE, IEEE Computer, IEEE Internet Computing, IEEE Intelligent Systems, ACM Computing Surveys, and International Journal of Computer Standards and Interfaces.  He consulted for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Microelectronic and Computer Technology Corp. (MCC), National Industrial Information Infrastructure Protocols (NIIIP) Consortium, and legal firms in the area of patent infringement.  His background and research interests spanned agents, grids, scalability, adaptability, survivability, ontologies, web object models, compositional middleware, web and object services, aspect-oriented software engineering, virtual enterprises, object database systems, and natural language interfaces.

At Texas Instruments, Thompson co-developed Relational Table Management System (RTMS), one of the first OODBs, and co-invented Menu-Based Natural Language Interfaces (NLMenu), a completion-based interface that that makes usable, maintainable natural language interfaces possible.  Both were products on the TI Explorer Lisp Machine.  NLMenu was deployed in the IONDS G/AIT and DARPA/USN FRESH programs in the mid-1980s.  In 1988 he led development of a content authoring system for Telaction Interactive Television Electronic Mall, a system that was field tested in Chicago in 1988, a near-miss precursor to the World Wide Web.  Between 1990 and 1995, Thompsonís work on the DARPA Open Object-Oriented Database System (Open OODB) project pioneered the idea of a an extensible object-bus-plus-services-based architecture which today is called a service-oriented architecture (SOA).He transferred and extended the Open OODB architecture by contributing to key anticipatory standards.In particular, he co-authored the X3 Database Systems Study Group OODB Task Force Reference Model on Object Data Management, a reference model that deconstructed OODBs into component capabilities, making comparison and standards possible.More importantly, he co-authored the Object Management Group (OMG) Object Management Architecture Guide (OMA) "Reference Model" (1990) and edited the OMG Object Services Architecture (1992).  SOA architectures are now a billion dollar computing industry and a basis for distributed computing, enterprise computing and cloud computing.

At OBJS, Thompson served as President and as principal investigator on the DARPA IC&V contract Scaling Object Services Architectures to the Internet (1995-1998), the DARPA CoABS contract Agility:  Agent -Ility Architecture (1998-2002), as Co-PI on the DARPA Ultra*Log contract Msg*Log: Reliable Messaging for Logistics Planning (2001-2002), and as Investigator on the AFRL SBIR II subcontract Agent Supported Information Visualization (2001-2003).  During this time, he co-chaired the OMG Internet Platform Special Interest Group (1995-1998), chartered to merge the OMG OMA architecture with Internet and Web standards to enable large-scale Internet-enabled object-based distributed computing, and also co-chaired the OMG Agent Platform Special Interest Group (1998-2001), chartered to meld distributed object and multi-agent systems.

At University of Arkansas, Thompson taught undergraduate and graduate AI and database courses, the CSCE Department's Senior Design/Capstone course, and courses on RFID and 3D virtual worlds.  He is led several research projects:  the Everything is Alive (EiA) project aimed to develop a plug-in based agent system; the RFID Agent Middleware project developed TagCentric open source middleware for the RFID community; the Soft Controller project aimed at attaching grammars to things and using device interface discovery to download these interfaces to a really universal remote; the Grid DBMS project aimed at investigating terabyte sized synthetic data generation, grid indexing, work flow automation, digital rights, knowledge-based authentication, and aspect-oriented software architectures in grid computing.  His 3D virtual world research focused on healthcare and other applications and on human workflow recognition and generation.His research was funded by Acxiom Corporation, Oracle Corporation and IBM.