The activities of defining, documenting, maintaining, improving, and certifying proper implementation of an architecture (IEEE 1471-2000 IEEE Recommended Practice for Architectural Description of Software-Intensive Systems, 3.3). The architecting process sometime involves the use of heuristics to establish the form of architectural options before quantitative analyses can be applied. Heuristics are design principles learned from experience (Rechtin 1990).
Rechtin,E. 1990. Systems architecting: Creating & building complex systems. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Prentice-Hall.
Discussion as to why this is the "consensus" definition for the SEBoK.