There is no way to determine the limit beforehand

Presumably there is a hard limit imposed by physics if the clock period of the device gets significantly close to the speed-of-light-in-copper delay of current from the capacitor. But that's pretty far away (I get 1cm should be OK for up to about ~20GHz)! Of course RLC issues would make the distance shorter.

The RLC issues including the inherent capacitance, inductance, and resistance of the PCB traces themselves, and even in the bond wires inside the ICs.

So yeah, it is modelable and theoretically computable; but no software package or mathematical rules of thumb or even theoretical models exist, for one to predict the exact capacitances and maximum distances one needs for the circuit to work –– except via practical experimentation.

Perhaps I should have written

*no practical way*, but I am not aware of any theoretical framework for determining such limits either: even if it is theoretically possible to compute such a limit, it would be extremely complex and require much more information than normally available to circuit designers, and end up being much more work than experimenting with the said ICs in practice to find out their typical bypass capacitor needs and distance limits.

This is one field where practical experimentation rules. But it is not just about finding the minimum sufficient limit, but also about taking into consideration the aging of the capacitors, and the bias voltage affecting the effective capacitance wrt. noise or signal on top of the DC bias. Rules of thumb like "double the minimum" are common, as are all sorts of weird beliefs based on specific special corner cases, so one will just have to wade through the bypass capacitor

~~fud~~ mud being slung everywhere, and find the stable ground underneath for yourself.

Remember this about those who claim to be an authority: At one point, doctors and surgeons refused to wash their hands, because they obviously were doing good work, and the idea of them conveying a disease via their hands was simply completely unacceptable.