Andrea Baronchelli

Associate Professor in Mathematics at City, University of London,

Token Economy theme lead at The Alan Turing Institute,

Research Associate at the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies.

I investigate the dynamics of decentralised socio-technical systems using concepts and tools from the physics of complex systems, network science and data science.

Topics I research include the emergence and dynamics of social norms and shared category systems, tipping points in collective behaviour, polarisation in social networks, blockchain & crypto ecosystems, and human mobility.

My work has has been supported by public and private institutions (UKRI, ESRC, InnovateUK, UK Govt., PayPal, etc). In 2019, I received the Young Scientist Award for Socio and Econophysics from the German Physical Society.

Besides academia, I regularly help start-ups and companies in the blockchain/crypto space improve their products by assessing, and anticipating, the behaviour of the communities they aim to reach.


The physics of socio-technical systems

A fancy video by City on some aspects of my recent research (May '22)

Mapping the NFT revolution

The paper Mapping the NFT revolution: market trends, trade networks, and visual features (Oct '21) presented the first comprehensive analysis of the NFT phenomenon.

Critical mass and tipping points in social convention

I have been researching the dynamics of norm formation and collective behaviour change for more than 15 years.

IC2S2'20 Keynote talk

Collective Dynamics of Dark Web Marketplaces

Together with academic and industrial partner we analyse and model licit and illicit trade networks

ACM Collective Intelligence '20


Selected publications:

  • From code to market: Network of developers and correlated returns of cryptocurrencies. Lucchini, Alessandretti, Lepri, Gallo and Baronchelli Science Advances (2020)

  • The emergence of consensus. Baronchelli Royal Society Open Science

  • The dynamics of norm change in the cultural evolution of language. Amato, Lacasa, Díaz-Guilera and Baronchelli PNAS (2018)

  • Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention. Centola, Becker, Brackbill and Baronchelli Science (2018)

  • Evidence for a conserved quantity in human mobility. Alessandretti, Sapiezynski, Sekara, Lehmann and Baronchelli Nat. Hum. Behav. (2018)

  • Evolutionary dynamics of the cryptocurrency market. ElBahrawy, Alessandretti, Kandler, Pastor-Satorras, and Baronchelli RSOS (2017)

  • The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution. Centola and Baronchelli PNAS (2015)

  • Networks in Cognitive Science. Baronchelli, Ferrer-i-Cancho, Pastor-Satorras, Chater, and Christiansen Trends Cog. Sci. (2013)

  • Modeling human dynamics of face-to-face interaction networks. Starnini, Baronchelli and Pastor-Satorras Phys. Rev. Lett. (2013)

  • Random Walks and Search in Time-Varying Networks. Perra, Baronchelli, Mocanu, Goncalves, Pastor-Satorras and Vespignani Phys. Rev. Lett. (2012)

  • Modeling the emergence of universality in color naming patterns. Baronchelli, Gong, Puglisi and Loreto PNAS (2010)

  • Cultural route to the emergence of linguistic categories. Puglisi, Baronchelli and Loreto PNAS (2008)

  • Sharp transition towards shared vocabularies in multi-agent systems. Baronchelli, Felici, Loreto, Caglioti and Steels J. Stat. Mech. P06014 (2006)