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A simile is a figure of speech of the form “My love is like a red, red rose.” I don’t know about you, but in my case at least, she isn’t really a red red rose. It’s a meaningful expression nonetheless because it captures some qualities of my love — her beauty, her fragrance, her delicacy — the ones I’d like to convey to you.
In the same way, a model expresses some aspects of reality, in a concise, easily shared and meaningful way.
These are exactly the qualities with which we have tried to imbue Simile.
Incidentally, if you’re wondering how it’s pronounced, listen to Bartleby. In 1995, when it was conceived, Simile was originally called AME, the agroforestry modelling environment. It was re-named Simile in 1999, by which time, its capabilities extended far beyond agroforestry.
At least when it was called AME, the agroforestry modelling environment, no-one ever needed to ask why!