An in-depth study of reset processes in RRAMs (Resistive Random Access Memories) based on Ni/HfO2/Si-n+ structures has been performed. To do so, we have developed a physically based simulator where both ohmic and tunneling based conduction regimes are considered along with the thermal description of the devices. The devices under study have been successfully fabricated and measured. The experimental data are correctly reproduced with the simulator for devices with a single conductive filament as well as for devices including several conductive filaments. The contribution of each conduction regime has been explained as well as the operation regimes where these ohmic and tunneling conduction processes dominate. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.