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A theoretical model is presented that is capable of simultaneously simulating the frequency response of the photon density, carrier density, electron temperature, hole temperature, populations of nonequilibrium longitudinal optical (LO) and transverse optical (TO) phonons at different wave vectors, and lattice temperature under the modulation of small-signal current. Our results not only provide a more consistent theoretical model for frequency chirping but also illustrate the different roles of carrier and lattice heating in the frequency response of semiconductor lasers. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.