This work proposes an executable system architecting paradigm for discrete-event system modeling and analysis through integration of a set of modeling tools, executable formalisms, analytical tools, and animation tools. The essential step is converting SysML-based specifications into colored Petri nets through a conversion scheme proposed here. Such a paradigm permits rigorous static and dynamic system analysis, as well as formal verification of the behavior and functionality of the SysML-based design. This paper also compares the capabilities of the proposed executable system architecting paradigm with other executable formalisms. Further, it discusses the basic principles of executable architecture specification and analysis for discrete-event system modeling. The model-driven architecture approach developed from the software engineering field is also studied here and applied in a systems engineering context to create a SysML-based modeling process that maintains a close relationships among all the SysML diagrams and indicates which diagrams to build and how to build them. This executable architecting paradigm is then integrated into the model-driven systems development process to create a structured architecture design process. This methodology is aimed at general system design. Its feasibility is demonstrated using the example of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, which is modeled as a distributed, parallel information processing system. The simulation results are used to check the overall integrity and internal consistency of the architecture models, to refine the architecture design, and finally, to verify the behavior and functionality of the system modeled. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.