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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. 

The following example illustrates an Install Collaboration, with three roles (Objects) connected as shown. The process for this Collaboration can be demonstrated by attaching an Interaction diagram.


To understand referencing a Collaboration in a specific situation, see the  Collaboration Occurrence topic.

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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."