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A critical analysis of available experimental data and models of an anode spot formation shows their insufficiency for developing a clear-cut physical model of anode processes in a high-current vacuum arc. Based on new results of studying an anode medium- and low-pressure arc region, a qualitative physical model of an anode spot formation in a vacuum arc is proposed. The main idea of the model is that a change of the sign of the anode voltage drop (from negative to positive) is a necessary condition for an anode spot formation. Experimental data are qualitatively discussed from the point of view of the proposed model.