The hysteresis current-voltage (I-V) loops in Pt/BiFeO3/ SrRuO3 structures are simulated using a Schottky diode-like conduction model with sigmoidally varying parameters, including series resistance correction and barrier lowering. The evolution of the system is represented by a vector in a 3D parameter space describing a closed trajectory with stationary states. It is shown that the hysteretic behavior is not only the result of a Schottky barrier height (SBH) variation arising from the BiFeO 3 polarization reversal but also a consequence of the potential drop distribution across the device. The SBH modulation is found to be remarkably lower (<0.07 eV) than previously reported (>0.5 eV). It is also shown that the p-type semiconducting nature of BiFeO3 can explain the large ideality factors (>6) required to simulate the I-V curves as well as the highly asymmetric set and reset voltages (4.7 V and -1.9 V) exhibited by our devices. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.