We prove that for every class $C$ of graphs with effectively bounded expansion, given a first-order sentence $\varphi$ and an $n$-element structure $\mathbb{A}$ whose Gaifman graph belongs to $C$, the question whether $\varphi$ holds in $\mathbb{A}$ can be decided by a family of AC-circuits of size $f(\varphi)\cdot n^c$ and depth $f(\varphi)+c\log n$, where $f$ is a computable function and $c$ is a universal constant. This places the model-checking problem for classes of bounded expansion in the parameterized circuit complexity class $para-AC^1$. On the route to our result we prove that the basic decomposition toolbox for classes of bounded expansion, including orderings with bounded weak coloring numbers and low treedepth decompositions, can be computed in $para-AC^1$.

Thanks. We have received your report. If we find this content to be in
violation of our guidelines,
we will remove it.

Ok