I have a dataset with 608 inputs and I'm trying to output a single 1 or 0 result. My validation data has 69.12% 0's. When ran, my model always returns 69.12% accuracy, presumably because it's "good enough" given the imbalance in the validation set. I've added an input normalization layer, but it has no effect. I've been told its not a good idea to normalize the validation data. I feel like I'm missing something fundamental here. Advise?
I do not think that the normalization is causing the problem. The fact that you have 69.12% samples of class zero and 69.12% accuracy is very suspicious. This means that if the model classifies every sample as class zero, that would give you an accuracy of 69.12%, as it would correctly classify all of class 0 and incorrectly classify all of class 1. This can happen if there is a really strong overfitting effect. You can try rebuilding the neural net with a different shape or try using more classical binary classification models that do not involve NN. Keep in mind that there is a possibility that your problem is unsolvable with the features you have, experimenting with different models will give you an idea of whether you are doing something wrong or the features do not determine the class.