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In this paper, a novel reduced-reference (RR) image quality assessment (IQA) is proposed by statistical modeling of the discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficient distributions. In order to reduce the RR data rates and further exploit the identical nature of the coefficient distributions between adjacent DCT subbands, the DCT coefficients are reorganized into a three-level coefficient tree. Subsequently, generalized Gaussian density (GGD) is employed to model the coefficient distribution of each reorganized DCT subband. The city-block distance is employed to measure the difference between the two images. Experimental results demonstrate that only a small number of RR features is sufficient for representing the image perceptual quality. The proposed method outperforms the RR WNISM and even the full-reference (FR) quality metric PSNR.