Bryan Thompson, Vice President
The People

    Bryan Thompson

    1737 Harvard St, NW
    Washington, DC 20009
    Phone: (202)462-7589
    Fax: (202)265-3342

Involved with
  • knowledge elicitation and knowledge representation
  • natural language processing, statistical linguistics and language learning
  • information retrieval systems, text summarization methods, and adaptive information filtering
  • connectionist modeling, adaptive critic architectures, machine learning, artificial intelligence and expert system design
  • Bayesian and non-Bayesian methods of inference
  • cognitive psychology; human factors and human-computer interface design

Computational Model
Since 1995, Mr. Thompson has lead a research effort to develop a computational model that is based on, and expands, a cognitive theory of naturalistic decision making. The theory focuses on two levels of cognition, the reflexive elaboration of interpretative mental models in a recognitional system and a second-order, meta-cognitive system. Meta-cognition is built on simple, but necessary, attention shifting processes that permit focused inference and allow dynamic decomposition of priors to reveal assumptions. More complex meta-cognitive behaviors include critical thinking skills, by which uncertainty is structured and understood, and by which we may more accurately measure stakes.

Current Research
In current research Mr. Thompson builds on this earlier work by suggesting an extension of the computational model that combines a world model with a model of the agent's own utility function -- a necessary step for developing a computational planning system. The research is focused on the recognitional inference mechanism (vs metacognition), and the inclusion of utility is expected to result in a novel reflexive, knowledge-based, adaptive control architecture. This research addresses a critical issue -- developing adaptive control architectures for higher-order cognitive processes. It is informed, and constrained, by data from cognitive psychology, adaptive-control, neurobiology, knowledge representation, non-bayesian inference, and computational complexity.

Human-Computer Interactions
Mr. Thompson has developed an extension of these methods to inferential information retrieval using mental models to motivate search and collaborative research agents to manage information flow with the user. In that work, he intends to explore the utility of mental models as a new modality for Human-Computer Interactions, one made possible by the existence of computational methods for reasoning with mental models and uncertainty.

CTI Research Efforts
Mr. Thompson leads CTI research efforts in computational modeling of cognitive processes, novel information retrieval methods, adaptive control and language processing. Other recent work includes the development of a tool for eliciting mental models, methods for representing mental models in computational models, and the development of an intelligent training environment for critical thinking skills.

Mr. Thompson coordinates and leads all CTI technical design and implementation efforts.

National Science Foundation (1988-1994)
Working with the Director and the National Science Board, Mr. Thompson developed systems for the National Science Foundation, for coordinating the NSF long-range planning effort and informing the Director's Policy Group. Mr. Thompson also designed systems for improving management of inter-disciplinary proposals, identifying scientific areas where research has provided significant contributions to the nations welfare, providing management information for technical and executive planning and decision making throughout the agency and providing methods for improving the content of material used to communicate outside the Foundation.

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