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We propose a methodology for the early estimation of communication implementation choice effects, starting from an abstract transaction-level system model (TLM). The reference version of the TLM considered is the Open SystemC initiative library. The methodology is based on the computation of metrics that abstract useful information from the initial system model. The metrics are precisely defined upon a general formal model of transaction-level system descriptions. A set of design problems of relevant interest, such as shared communication resource assignment, pipelining partitioning, bandwidth, and latency constraint estimation, is considered to show some potential applications of the metrics proposed.