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Knowledge Discovery in Databases is a complex process that involves many different data processing and learning operators. Today's Knowledge Discovery Support Systems can contain several hundred operators. A major challenge is to assist the user in designing workflows which are not only valid but also -- ideally -- optimize some performance measure associated with the user goal. In this paper we present such a system. The system relies on a meta-mining module which analyses past data mining experiments and extracts meta-mining models which associate dataset characteristics with workflow descriptors in view of workflow performance optimization. The meta-mining model is used within a data mining workflow planner, to guide the planner during the workflow planning. We learn the meta-mining models using a similarity learning approach, and extract the workflow descriptors by mining the workflows for generalized relational patterns accounting also for domain knowledge provided by a data mining ontology. We evaluate the quality of the data mining workflows that the system produces on a collection of real world datasets coming from biology and show that it produces workflows that are significantly better than alternative methods that can only do workflow selection and not planning.