In this paper the particle swarm optimization (PSO) and least mean square (LMS) algorithms are comparatively studied to estimate the optical communication channel parameters for radio over fiber systems. It is observed that especially in low noise one tap optical channels, the convergence of LMS algorithm is approximately same with PSO algorithm. On the other hand, as a communication medium, selecting high noisy fiber optical channels or free space optical channels; PSO reaches better mean square error values. The computational complexity which is one of the most important features for optimization algorithms has also been taken into account. (C) 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.