The L-class of non-Witt spaces


Characteristic classes for oriented pseudomanifolds can be defined using appropriate self-dual complexes of sheaves. On non-Witt spaces, self-dual complexes compatible to intersection homology are determined by choices of Lagrangian structures at the strata of odd codimension. We prove that the associated signature and \rm L-classes are independent of the choice of Lagrangian structures, so that singular spaces with odd codimensional strata, such as e.g. certain compactifications of locally symmetric spaces, have well-defined \rm L-classes, provided Lagrangian structures exist. We illustrate the general results with the example of the reductive Borel-Serre compactification of a Hilbert modular surface.


Markus Banagl

Mathematisches Institut, Universität Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany