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The nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation is a popular and relatively simple model used extensively to describe the evolution of nonlinear water-wave groups. It is often applied in relation to the appearance of extremely steep (freak, or rogue) waves in the ocean. The limits of the applicability of the NLS equation, and in particular the relevance of the model to rogue waves, are examined here on the basis of quantitative and qualitative comparison with an experiment.doi:10.3176/proc.2015.3s.05 fatcat:6oo3fzwgxrerdkatfmjvl6c5bq