An approach to decompression modeling, the reduced gradient bubble model (RGBM), is developed from the critical phase hypothesis. The phase limit is introduced, extended, and applied within bubble-nucleation theory proposed by Yount. Much is different in the RGBM algorithm, on both theoretical and applied sides, with a focus on permissible bubble excesses rather than just dissolved gas buildup, ... [Show full abstract] something of a departure from traditional models. Overall, the approach is conservative, with changes in parameter settings affording flexibility. Marginal profiles permitted by tables and meters are restricted by the bubble algorithm. Highlighted features of the conservative algorithm include: (1) reduced no-stop time limits from the varying-permeability model (VPM); (2) short safety stops (or shallow swimming ascents) in the 10-20 feet of sea water (fsw) zone; (3) ascent and descent rates of 60 fsw/min, or slower; (4) restricted repetitive exposures, particularly beyond 100 fsw, based on reduced permissible bubble excess; (5) restricted spike (shallow-to-deep) exposures based on excitation of additional micronuclei; (6) restricted multi-day activity based on regeneration of micronuclei; (7) consistent treatment of altitude diving within model framework; (8) algorithm linked to bubble-nucleation theory and experiment. Coupled to medical reports about the long term effects of breathing pressurized gases and shortcomings in dissolved gas models, conservative modeling seems prudent.