The composite pattern
The composite pattern allows complex tree-like structures to be built from simple components. These components, called composite objects, are able to behave sort of like a container and sort of like a variable depending on whether they have child components. Composite objects are container objects, where the content may actually be another composite object.
Traditionally, each component in a composite object must be either a leaf node (that cannot contain other objects) or a composite node. The key is that both composite and leaf nodes can have the same interface. The UML diagram is very simple:
This simple pattern, however, ...
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