Besides the simple ones, there are several other kinds of C*-algebras which it has proved interesting to try to classify. For instance, a large body of results relates to the extensions of one given C*-algebra, possibly simple, by another. Extrapolating in this direction, we have considered the class of C*-algebras which can be decomposed in the strongest possible nontrivial sense in terms of their simple subquotients, and such that these simple subquotients in turn are as uncomplicated as possible.
We have found that the classification of these C*-algebras, namely, the lexicographic direct sums of elementary C*-algebras, is to a large degree tractable, and yet involves an interesting new invariant in the antiliminary case, which is the case of no minimal ideals. Even the postliminary case, which is the case that the ordered set of simple subquotients satisfies the decreasing chain condition, is not without interest as an extension of the case of finitely many simple subquotients, analysed in the earlier papers [1] and [2].