The mechanisms responsible for nonlinear impairments in single-channel phase modulated system employing differential detection are investigated. The role of dispersion precompensation is discussed. It is shown that precompensation may be designed as to minimize the in-phase components of the fluctuations thus reducing nonlinear impairments. In differential-phase-shift-keying the effect of precompensation is stronger than in differential-quadrature-phase-shift-keying. The results of an analytic theory are compared with split-step based computer simulations using realistic system parameters.
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