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We experimentally investigate the performance of maximum-likelihood sequence estimation (MLSE) electronic dispersion compensation for signals impaired by nonlinear optical effects induced in a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). Single- and multichannel effects are investigated. We study 10.7-Gb/s nonreturn-to-zero, low-pass filter duobinary, and differential phase-shift-keying signals detected as optical duobinary, each with different amounts of uncompensated dispersion before amplification by the SOA and detection. The results show performance variability by the MLSE receiver with increasing nonlinearity, from small penalties back-to-back compared to a standard receiver for most formats to advantages of several decibels with uncompensated dispersion.