A Collaboration defines a set of cooperating roles and their connectors. These are used to collectively illustrate a specific functionality, in a Composite Structure diagram. A Collaboration should specify only the roles and attributes required to accomplish a specific task or function. Although in practice a behavior and its roles could involve many tangential attributes and properties, isolating the primary roles and their requisites simplifies and clarifies the behavior, as well as providing for reuse. A Collaboration often implements a pattern to apply to various situations.
To understand referencing a Collaboration in a specific situation, see the Collaboration Occurrence topic.
OMG UML Specification
The OMG UML specification (UML Superstructure Specification, v2.0, p. 6) states:
"The specification of how an operation or classifier, such as a use case, is realized by a set of classifiers and associations playing specific roles used in a specific way. The collaboration defines an interaction."