This paper presents the use of a kernel-based machine learning strategy targeting classification and regression tasks in view of automatic flaw(s) detection, localization and characterization. The studied use-case is a structural health monitoring configuration with an array of piezoelectric sensors integrated on aluminum panels affected by flaws of various positions and dimensions. The measured guided wave signals are post processed with a guided wave imaging algorithm in order to obtain an image representing the health of each specimen. These images are then used as inputs to build classification and regression models. In this paper, an extensive numerical validation campaign is conducted to validate the process. Then the inversion is applied to an experimental campaign, which demonstrate the ability to use a numerically-built model to invert experimental data.