Consider this sentence:
This situation is analogous to the classic problem of cracking a
hashed and salted password: We see the X as a password and Y as a salt.
What are the other ways to refer to the different “objects” here, instead of just using see?
As the rest of my text is rather formal, see feels like a bad fit.
To be crystal clear, my goal is to argue the use of the analogy by comparing the X and Y to the password and salt.
When I want to be formal, or very explicit about an analogy, I say, “X is analogous to the password and Y is analogous to the salt.”
When I am being less formal — or if I have just used the word “analogy” and I don’t to sound repetitive — I say, “X is like the password and Y is like the salt.”
You could also say “X takes the role of the password”, “X functions like the password”, or many other words expressing a similarity.
You could also recast the sentence to compare the functions rather than the objects. For example, “Let’s consider an analogy between my process and passwords. Just as a password is hashed using a salt value, so an X is framboozled using a Y.”