Tel: (+32) 16 327567

I work in the Declarative Languages and A.I. lab of the KU Leuven, in Belgium.

I am currently a post-doctoral fellow of the FWO (Oct 2015 -- Sept 2018).

My research is on the border between Data Mining and Constraint Solving. I am an Artificial Intelligence researcher, with special interests for data-driven problem solving, search algorithms, constraints and declarative languages.

I am best known for my work on constraint solving in pattern mining. Much of this work is grouped on my CP4IM project pages.
My PhD thesis was titled "Declarative Pattern Mining using Constraint Programming", supervised by Prof. Luc De Raedt and Dr. Siegfried Nijssen.


Selected publications

Full list: KULeuven repository -- DBLP

  • T. Guns, A. Dries, G. Tack, S. Nijssen, L. De Raedt. MiningZinc: a Declarative Framework for Constraint-based Mining, AI journal, 2015. Also earlier version at IJCAI 2013 and demo at ICDM 2013.
  • B. Negrevergne, T. Guns. Constraint-based sequence mining using constraint programming, CPAIOR 2015.
  • B. Babaki, T. Guns, S. Nijssen, L. De Raedt. Constraint-based querying for Bayesian network exploration, IDA 2015.
  • A. Rendl, T. Guns, P. Stuckey, G. Tack. MiniSearch: a solver-independent meta-search language for MiniZinc, CP 2015.
  • B. Babaki, T. Guns, S. Nijssen. Constrained clustering using column generation, CPAIOR 2014.
  • B. Negrevergne, T. Guns, A. Dries, S. Nijssen. Dominance programming for itemset mining, ICDM 2013.
  • H. Sun, T. Guns, A. Fierro Gutierrez, L. Thorrez, S. Nijssen, K. Marchal. Unveiling combinatorial regulation through the combination of ChIP information and in silico cis-regulatory module detection, Nucleic Acids Research, 2012.


  • FWO post-doctoral research grant, 2nd term [October 2015]
  • Finalist FameLab benelux (science communication) [May 2014].
  • ACP Doctoral Research Award of the Association for Constraint Programming [Sept. 2013]
  • Artificial Intelligence Dissertation Award sponsored by ECCAI, the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence [July 2013]
  • ORBEL Wolsey award for best OR-related open source implementation (CP4IM) of a PhD thesis [Feb. 2013]
  • First place jury and audience award in KU Leuven Youreca challenge to explain a scientific problem or fact in a clarifying, creative and entertaining way. [Nov. 2012]
  • FWO post-doctoral research grant [October 2012]
  • First place at the Irish Collegiate Programming Competition 2012
  • Innovation award at the Mining Patterns and Subgroups workshop 2010, for the paper 'k-pattern set mining using constraint programming'.


Conferences and workshops


AIJ Special Issue: CoCoMile on COmbining COnstraint solving with MIning and LEarning (2014 -- 2015).


Conferences: PKDD 2010, ICDM 2011, ECMPLKDD 2011, IJCAI 2011, ICDM 2012, ILP 2012, SDM 2012, ECAI 2012, IJCAI 2013, ECMLPKDD 2013, CPAIOR 2014, CP 2014 (Doctoral Program), ECAI 2014, IDA 2014, AAAI 2015, CPAIOR 2015, CP 2015, AAAI 2016, LION 2016, KDD 2016.
Journals: AIJ, DMKD, TKDD and Constraints.



Teaching assistent

Guest lectures

  • Seminar at ICTeam, Louvain-la-neuve [October 2015]
  • Invited talk at the MokMASD workshop [September 2015] slides
  • "Exploratory Data Mining" at the Data Science in Practice course for professionals [September 2015]
  • Invited talk at the Constraint Programming and Data Mining day, Orleans [November 2014]
  • Talk at the Dagstuhl seminar on Constraints, Optimization and Data [October 2014]
  • Lecturer at the Constraint Programming Meets Data Mining summer school [September 2014]
  • Invited talk at the Frontiers in AI track at ECAI [August 2014] slides
  • Seminar at Monash university/NICTA [July 2014]
  • Guest lecture for Current Trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI lab VUB/ULB) [February 2013]
  • Seminar at the Cork Constraint Computation Centre Seminar [March 2012]
  • Guest lecture at the Analysis of patterns summer school [October 2009]

Supervised seven bachelor and master thesis students [2009-present].

Science communication

  • Groen, Oranje, Rood! (programming with scratch and Traffic Hat) Kinderuniversiteit 2015
  • FameLab benelux 2014: Cameras playing Where is Waldo (face detection) & Computers with brains (deep neural networks).
  • "True or false, a central problem in A.I." for the youreca challenge 2013 (first place)
  • "Rock-Paper-Sissors and A.I." for Kinderuniversiteit 2012 (Youngsters aged 8-12)
  • "The computer plays poker" for Wetenschapsweek 2010 & 2012 (Youngsters aged 15-18)
  • "Computer with a crystal ball" for Wetenschapsweek 2008 (Youngsters aged 15-18)


All my software is open source and my papers are freely available online, following good open science practice.

Most software is on my Constraint Programming for Itemset Mining (CP4IM) page. To be listed below too... (and educational: including pokerdemo, SAT game and coderdojo web programming and simple-top-viewer)