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Evaluation of high performance parallel systems is a delicate issue, due to the difficulty of generating workloads that represent, those that will run on actual systems. We overview the most usual workloads for performance evaluation purposes, in the scope of interconnection networks simulation. Aiming to fill the gap between purely synthetic and application-driven workloads, we present a set of synthetic communication micro-kernels that enhance regular synthetic traffic by adding point-to-point causality. They are conceived to stress the interconnection architecture. As an example of the proposed methodology, we use these micro-kernels to evaluate a topological improvement of k-ary n-cubes.