The key feature that distinguishes ArgoUML from other UML
CASE tools is its use of concepts from cognitive psychology.
The theory behind this is well described in Jason Robbins'
Critics are one of the main ways in which these ideas are
implemented. Running in the background they offer advice to the
designer which may be accepted or ignored. A key point is that
they do not impose a decision on the
The critics are asynchronous processes that run in
parallel with the main ArgoUML tool. Changes typically take a
second or two to propagate as the critics wake up.
The critics are background
processes, which evaluate the current model according to
various “good” design criteria. There is one
critic for every design criterion.
The output of a critic is a
critique—a statement about some aspect
of the model that does not appear to follow good design
Finally a critique will generally suggest how the bad
design issue it has identified can be rectified, by raising a
ArgoUML categorizes critics according the the design
issue they address (some critics may be in more than one
category). At present there are 16 such categories.
Within this manual the descriptions of critics are
grouped in sections by design issue.