Date of this Version
Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society (2017) 60, 57-97
In the 1970s, Feldman and Moore classified separably acting von Neumann algebras containing Cartan MASAs using measured equivalence re- lations and 2-cocycles on such equivalence relations. In this paper, we give a new classification in terms of extensions of inverse semigroups. Our approach is more algebraic in character and less point-based than that of Feldman-Moore. As an application, we give a restatement of the spectral theorem for bimodules in terms of subsets of inverse semigroups. We also show how our viewpoint leads naturally to a description of maximal subdiagonal algebras.