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We propose a new universal objective image quality index, which is easy to calculate and applicable to various image processing applications. Instead of using traditional error summation methods, the proposed index is designed by modeling any image distortion as a combination of three factors: loss of correlation, luminance distortion, and contrast distortion. Although the new index is mathematically defined and no human visual system model is explicitly employed, our experiments on various image distortion types indicate that it performs significantly better than the widely used distortion metric mean squared error. Demonstrative images and an efficient MATLAB implementation of the algorithm are available online at http://anchovy.ece.utexas.edu//spl sim/zwang/research/quality_index/demo.html.