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The temporal coherence properties of picosecond pulses from GaAlAs semiconductor lasers have been studied by measuring first- and second-order autocorrelation functions with a Michelson interferometer. The time-bandwidth product and chirp have been evaluated for several different laser structures and frequency stabilization schemes. Time-bandwidth products from 1.2 for a CSP laser to 3.6 for a TJS laser were obtained with operating conditions representative of high-speed communication systems. Computer simulations based on the rate equations have been used to model the temporal coherence during the pulse and they show good agreement with our measurements. The results show that it is important to select the appropriate laser structure and stabilization scheme in applications where the temporal coherence is significant for system performance.