Greedy Sequential Maximal Independent Set and Matching Are Parallel on Average
The greedy sequential algorithm for Maximal Independent Set (MIS) loops over the vertices in an arbitrary order adding a vertex to the resulting set if and only if no previous neighboring vertex has been added. In this loop, as in many sequential loops, each iterate will only depend on a subset of the previous iterates (i.e. knowing that any one of a vertex's previous neighbors is in the MIS, or knowing that it has no previous neighbors, is sufficient to decide its fate one way or the other). This leads to a dependence structure among the iterates. If this structure is shallow then running the iterates in parallel while respecting the dependencies can lead to an efficient parallel implementation mimicking the sequential algorithm.