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The retention failure of bipolar oxide-based resistive switching memory is investigated. A new physical model is proposed to elucidate the typical retention failure behavior of the oxide-based resistive switching memory with a sudden resistance transition, which is quite different from that of the traditional memories. In the new proposed model, the temperature- and bias-dependent failure probability and failure time of the devices can be quantified. A temperature- and voltage-acceleration method is developed to evaluate the retention of resistive switching memories.