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In this paper, we introduce and study the minimum consistent subset cover (MCSC) problem. Given a finite ground set X and a constraint t, find the minimum number of consistent subsets that cover X, where a subset of X is consistent if it satisfies t. The MCSC problem generalizes the traditional set covering problem and has minimum clique partition (MCP), a dual problem of graph coloring, as an instance. Many common data mining tasks in rule learning, clustering, and pattern mining can be formulated as MCSC instances. In particular, we discuss the minimum rule set (MRS) problem that minimizes model complexity of decision rules, the converse k-clustering problem that minimizes the number of clusters, and the pattern summarization problem that minimizes the number of patterns. For any of these MCSC instances, our proposed generic algorithm CAG can be directly applicable. CAG starts by constructing a maximal optimal partial solution, then performs an example-driven specific-to-general search on a dynamically maintained bipartite assignment graph to simultaneously learn a set of consistent subsets with small cardinality covering the ground set.