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Fiber-optic research in signal processing for the first generation of coherent communication systems was dominated by receivers with blind adaptation. Next-generation systems will require a scalable and modular design for higher order modulation formats. Due to the nature of the fiber channel and the required parallelization in high-speed receivers, data-aided and blind algorithms call for a general reassessment when used in coherent optic receivers employing higher order modulation formats. In this paper, blind and data-aided receivers are compared for coherent single-carrier optical systems in terms of complexity, tracking ability, and convergence speed. Methods for equalization are discussed for time-domain- and frequency-domain-based receivers covering the most important algorithms. The general superiority of data-aided frequency-domain equalization is demonstrated.